The State Government is giving $500,000 in regional grants to help local projects in the South-West get off the ground.
Launching this year’s Regional Development Scheme at a Budget breakfast in Bunbury today, South-West Minister Mark McGowan said projects could receive up to $150,000 each, giving them the help they deserved.
“The grants can go towards major events or initiatives which build on the region’s economic, community or environmental capacity,” Mr McGowan said.
“It’s easy to look at the bigger projects being carried out across the State, but it’s equally important to recognise and help the smaller projects which benefit the wider community.
“To date, the Regional Development Scheme (RDS) has contributed $3.1million to the South-West region.”
Parliamentary Secretary to the South-West Minister Mick Murray said the funds had helped projects like the South West Visual Arts Portal, Augusta Foreshore dual use path and Pemberton Mountain Bike Tracks and Trail.
“There are so many projects which might not have come to fruition if it hadn’t been for the RDS,” Mr Murray said.
Other recipients of previous RDS grants across the South-West include:
· Bunbury Sea Rescue, which received a grant to help build a new boatshed;
· the Shire of Busselton, who put its grant towards a feasibility study for a performing arts and creative industries centre in Busselton;
· the Augusta-Margaret River Tourism Association, who received a cheque which was put towards the Jewel Cave Preservation and redevelopment; and
· the Bridgetown Historical Society, who used its grant towards developing the Bridgetown Heritage Cultural Centre.
Bunbury Regional Art Galleries director Sonya Dye said she used the funding to create a South-West visual arts portal - an online market place for local art.
“The funding will promote regional visual arts and the South-West as a cultural tourism destination,” Ms Dye said.
Pemberton Visitors’ Centre manager Paul Nolan said future plans for an extreme mountain bike trail would not have been possible if it hadn’t been for scheme.
“This project will make Pemberton an even more attractive place to visit, thanks to the State Government grant,” Mr Nolan said.
Mr McGowan said applications for the latest RDS were now open and available through the South West Development Commission.
Applications for grants of between $5,000 and $150,000 close on June 30.
Minister's office - 9222 9111