Community groups in the Northern Grampians Shire will be thousands of dollars better off with help from the Bulgana Green Power Hub.
Owner and operator of the hub Neoen has committed $120,000 a year for the next 25 years to a community funding scheme to be shared across groups throughout the region.
With help from the Northern Grampians Shire Council in allocating the funding, 20 groups from Stawell, St Arnaud and surrounding communities were successful in the inaugural funding allocation.
Joel Joel Fire Brigade and Concongella Primary School were the biggest beneficiaries, receiving $20,000 each.
The funds will enable Joel Joel Fire Brigade to replace an ageing tanker, while the primary school will use its allocation to install a wind turbine and a solar panel system to provide sustainable electricity to the school.
Small grants of up to $5000 and large grants of up to $20,000 were available to community groups that met criteria in at least one of six focus areas including environmental sustainability, health and wellbeing, strong connected communities, sport and recreation, arts and culture, education and training.
“The diversity of this year’s allocations demonstrates the breadth of support that was intended,” Bulgana construction project manager Stephen Thompson said.
Stawell West Primary School is one of the organisations putting the funding to good use. They invested their $2057 of funding in a defibrillator, a much-needed piece of equipment.
“We have a young fella with a heart condition and there is always older people at the school so it is really great to have it here just in case it’s ever needed,” parent Jessica Jones said.
Applications for the next funding allocation open in the next financial year.
Construction of the wind farm is ongoing.
Other organisations to receive funding are:
- Great Western Recreation Reserve ($12,000)
- Stuart Mill Progress Association ($7000)
- Stawell Senior Citizens Club ($6000)
- Community Association of Halls Gap ($5000)
- Joel Joel Public Hall ($5000)
- East Grampians Health Services ($5000)
- St Arnaud Pony Club ($5000)
- Stawell Centre Riding for the Disabled ($4895)
- Great Western Future Committee ($4800)
- Great Western Primary School ($4975)
- Victoria State Emergency Service - Stawell Unit ($4206)
- St Arnaud Neighbourhood House ($4031)
- Project Platypus ($2600)
- Defibrillator Stawell West Primary ($2057)
- St Arnaud Community Resource Centre ($2474)
- Stawell Agricultural Society ($2395)
- Vision St Arnaud ($1850)
- St Arnaud Country Music Poets Breakfast ($700)