Loss of grants won’t hold back region

IT was disappointing to get the news last week that the Fund My Neighbourhood program was being scrapped. 

A number of local community projects were funded through the first round of the program, including the Tumby Bay silo art mural which received $85,000.

What made this program so great was that individual communities were ones to decide which eligible projects in their local ‘neighbourhood’ would receive funding.

It’s not very often that people who live in regional communities get to choose whether or not local projects get funding so it is a shame to see the program axed. 

The $10,000 to $150,000 grants available through the program made it possible for pie in the sky ideas to become a reality and Dion LeBrun – who worked on the Tumby Bay silo mural – says in today’s story on page four, it exceed all expectations. 

Everyone knows how self-sufficient regional communities are, the communities on the EP are no exception and often find funding or spend years fundraising to see a project through. 

Mr LeBrun has called the decision to scrap the program “short-sighted” and if the Liberal Government does not replace it with another grants scheme, he might be right. 

Scrapping the funding adds another level of difficulty for regional communities to get good things happening – it is funding they will now have to find another way. 

It is not just Tumby Bay residents who have been making plans for the next round of funding.  The Port Lincoln RSL sub-branch would like to upgrade their building, a project which is probably out of reach without Fund My Neighbourhood or a funding program like it. 

This is a project the RSL members have been planning for a while and while disappointed at the news they may no longer be able to get grant funding for the project, RSL president Peter Linn remains positive. 

He said the upgrade of the RSL would do justice to the memorabilia in the hall and would also give families a place to go to feel proud of those who served. 

It is a worthy project, as are the majority of the projects which received funding. These ideas are about making places better, very rarely are they for a single town’s or group’s enjoyment.

Only time will tell if the Fund My Neighbourhood program will be replaced and in the meantime communities will keep doing what they can to make the region an even better place to live.