Grant Programs – Speech in the Federation Chamber 29/11/2023
Hansard 29/11/2023 Federation Chamber
Mr LLEW O’BRIEN (Wide Bay) (09:42): Small grants make a big difference to not-for-profits, and the taxpayer funded Stronger Communities and Volunteer Grants programs have delivered significant benefits for communities and service groups in Wide Bay.
The Stronger Communities Program has supported the Maryborough Military Aviation Museum to build a shed where their volunteers can restore, catalogue and archive items for their collection, commemorating the vital role the Maryborough Airport played in training gunners and wireless operators for Australia’s World War II effort. Funding has been provided to the Mary Valley RSL Sub Branch to purchase a new vehicle to transport veterans and seniors to and from their medical appointments. In a community where their only GP clinic closed more than 12 months ago, this is a vital service for the residents of this small community. The Stronger Communities Program also helped the South Burnett PCYC to upgrade their audio equipment, the Cooroy Gymnastics Club to fix the flooring and install fans, and the Kin Kin Community House to create a new outdoor space. Cherbourg Men’s Shed has a new outdoor accessible work area where the men of Cherbourg can participate in personal and community projects and engage in creative activities.
Volunteers throughout Wide Bay have access to new equipment, training opportunities and reimbursement for the expenses they incur serving their community, thanks to the Volunteer Grants program. Emergency and rescue organisations like the volunteer coastguard at Boonooroo have been supported, and the Noosa Heads and Peregian Beach Surf Lifesaving Clubs have been able to purchase equipment to support their training and rescue operations. Sporting and recreational groups like the Tewantin Netball Club, Noosa Dolphins and Albert Park and Kandanga bowls clubs have been able to buy computers and other resources needed for their volunteers.
The volunteers at Gympie Medical Transport, PTSD Dogs Australia and Riding for the Disabled Maryborough have received support for the costs they incur in using their own vehicles to deliver the important services they provide to their community, and Graham House volunteers receive funding for training. In the lead-up to Christmas, I thank every volunteer in Wide Bay for the important work they do. I thank all the staff at Parliament House and my electorate office for their work, and I wish them and all colleagues here a happy and safe Christmas and new year.