October 10, 2023

The residents of Glenwood will have access to lifesaving defibrillators at three different locations in their rural community thanks to a $12,000 grant from Round 8 of the former Coalition Government’s Stronger Communities Program.

Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien met with representatives from the Glenwood Community Centre today to commend the committee and volunteers on the hard work they put into developing the project, which has the potential to save the lives of their families, friends, and neighbours.

“Sudden cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death in Australia and defibrillators have the power to change this and save lives. If a defibrillator is deployed on a cardiac arrest victim within a short time frame, they have a much better chance of surviving the event,” Mr O’Brien said.

One of the three defibrillators will be located just off the highway at the service station, the second will be on Arborfive Road to service the residents living further into Glenwood who get cut off from the main road during significant weather events, and the third will be installed at the Community Hall in Pepper Road close to where the emergency services helicopter lands.

Kristy Edwards from the Glenwood Community Centre said the project was important to the community as many of Glenwood’s residents are older people and their distance from emergency services means it can be quite a long wait for the ambulance to arrive.

“In the case of heart attacks, every minute counts so having these lifesaving devices available in a number of locations is reassuring, particularly when the community is cut off due to flooding after heavy rain events.”

‘The defibs will have clear instructions that make them simple and easy to operate, so even first time users can feel confident using them in an emergency cardiac event.”

Mr O’Brien said, “the former Coalition Government introduced the Stronger Communities Programme, which provided grants of between $2,500 and $20,000 to community organisations and local governments for small capital projects that deliver social benefits for local communities.”

The Stronger Communities Program was discontinued in the Labor Government’s May 2023 Budget and replaced by the Growing Regions Program which has grants available from $500,000 up to $15 million, but a 50 per cent co-contribution is required by the applicant.

“Unfortunately, the Growing Regions Program’s minimum grant threshold has been set so high at $500,000, many local and community organisations will be ineligible to apply for this funding,” Mr O’Brien said.

Mr O’Brien also said the Liberal and National Coalition is calling on the Government to deliver a regional development program that can help local community, sporting, and ex-service organisations to deliver small scale projects and provide more opportunities in their local communities.


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