• Tony Bosworth

Kurrajong Heights Bowlo and Bilpin Shed among several Hawkesbury groups handed new bushfire grants

Bilpin Shed and Kurrajong Heights Bowling Club are sharing more than $25,000 in funding - $19,400 to install a new air conditioning system at the club, with $6000 to Bilpin Shed to establish a community garden on the club grounds in the latest round of Federal government bushfire relief funding.

The grants – awarded after recommendation by Macquarie MP Susan Templeman – is good news for the fire hit communities because the area largely missed out on funding through the Australian Government’s Bushfire Local Economic Recovery (BLER) fund this week, which Ms Templeman described as disappointing.

Macquarie MP Susan Templeman with Sean from High Hopes Roadhouse and Miranda at Miranda’s Monthlies trivia night at the Kurrajong Heights Bowling and Recreation Club earlier this year

“These two projects are practical and needed, and will continue to help provide a comfortable and welcoming place for this close-knit community to come together, which is so important after the huge impact of the 2019/20 bushfires,” Ms Templeman said.

“While both these grants were recommended by me months ago after stringent assessment by my community independent panel, I was particularly pleased with the outcome after learning the area largely missed out on on BLER funding

“The club’s had no air-conditioning for some time, and this new funding will help decommission and remove the old system, and install a new one.

“Having the air conditioning installed will make for a much better environment for the community who hold many meetings at the club.

“Bilpin Shed will use its money to establish a 30m by 60m community garden within the club grounds for use by those living in the surrounding area, and I’ve been pleased to see the progress in recent weeks.

“The garden will give people the opportunity to propagate, grow and share organic food crops in raised beds, allowing access for disabled and elderly people and encouraging people to connect with those around them.”

The funding was recommended under the latest round of the Stronger Communities grants. Other Hawkesbury groups that received funding included:

  • St Albans School of Arts Hall – $16,000 for a hybrid solar system for clean energy production;

  • Governor Macquarie Memorial Pipe Band - $3200 for new drum stands to be used by junior members;

  • Merana Aboriginal Community Association for the Hawkesbury Inc – $5000 for a yarning circle and bush tucker garden;

  • St John Ambulance Hawkesbury Division - $4400 for replacement of a roller door at its Hawkesbury Showground premises;

  • Hawkesbury Hornets BMX Club - $15,000 for provision of a new start gate in anticipation of hosting the state championships;

  • Hawkesbury City Netball Association - $20,000 undercover sheltered area for Mileham Street netball courts;

  • Bligh Park Community Services - $20,000 for a building upgrade.

But with nearly $1 million in applications rolling in from Hawkesbury and Blue Mountains community organisations for just $150,000 in the latest round of the Stronger Communities funding, Ms Templeman said many had been left disappointed.

“The amount of applications my independent panel received from so many organisations obviously meant not everyone received the amount they requested, and some very worthy projects had to miss out altogether,” Ms Templeman said.

“Organisations like charities, service groups, churches, sporting groups, or school P&C groups that apply for these grants often step in to fill a gap left by governments.

“The amount of funding available from this pool has not increased in years, and it would be great if even a modest rise was available to accommodate the need in our community.”

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