Local projects across regional Victoria will be chosen by local residents under a new community building fund, which will see locals nominate and decide on their own funding priorities.
The new grassroots democracy program, Pick My Project, will be backed by $30 million from the Victorian Budget 2018/19 and will be spread across the state, giving every community the chance to benefit.
In a Victorian-first, all residents aged 16 and over will be able to submit their idea for consideration under the program.
All they’ll need is an idea that helps build a stronger community, and the backing of a local organisation, community group, school, local council, or other eligible group able to help deliver the project.
Ideas could include anything from sporting and recreation infrastructure, community arts projects, improvements to community facilities or the local environment.
Projects will need to be feasible and have land-owner consent, but there will be no restrictive guidelines – meaning many local priorities that fall-between the cracks of other grant programs will now be eligible for funding.
Communities will then get to vote for the projects they think are most important, giving local residents the first and final say on the best way to improve their local area.
Projects between $20,000 and $200,000 will be eligible under the program, with funding spread between the nine Regional Partnership Regions and six Metropolitan Partnership Regions.
Regional Partnerships are the centrepiece of the Labor Government’s Regional Statement, and have been established in Barwon, Central Highlands, Gippsland, Goulburn, Great South Coast, Loddon Campaspe, Ovens Murray, Mallee and Wimmera Southern Mallee.
The initiative will start in May and winning projects will be announced in September 2018. To get ready and register your interest, visit pickmyproject.vic.gov.au.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford
“Our Regional Partnerships have shown us that locals know best, and that is exactly what this fund is about – putting community funding decisions back in the hands of communities.”
“Everyone has an idea about how to make their neighbourhood a better place. Now – just by convincing your neighbours – you’ll be able to make the idea a reality.”
“This is a Victorian-first that gives our regional communities the power to shape the agenda.”