A new election commitment launched by The Nationals WA will provide regional community organisations and businesses opportunities to access small and medium grants from Royalties for Regions.
Leader Mia Davies announced The Nationals WA would return the Regional Grants Scheme and the Community Chest as part of an $85 million Royalties for Regions-funded grant program in Geraldton today with Deputy Leader Shane Love and local MP Ian Blayney.
Ms Davies said the five-year initiative would reinstate the former Regional Grants Scheme and Community Chest Fund ditched by Labor in 2017 and expand the Regional Economic Development grants scheme for businesses.
“Our initiative builds on the success of the RGS and CCF – hugely popular programs – to develop regional communities, their economies and give them a secure funding source to meet local aspirations,” she said.
“They provide opportunities to grow organisations and businesses by improving infrastructure, upgrading equipment, expanding capacity, driving job creation and delivering better outcomes on the ground.
“From the local men’s shed, tennis club or scouts group to volunteer emergency services, businesses and local governments, our commitment provides access for regional communities to Royalties for Regions that have been lacking since Labor came to power.”
Funding will be split into three tiers available for applications varying in scale and purpose.
Community Chest grants up to $50,000 will be available for volunteer, educational, community and not-for-profit organisations to improve and develop infrastructure, services and local events.
Regional grants up to $500,000 will be available to organisations including local governments looking to grow their footprint and provide proven economic or social outcomes.
REDs will be increased up to $500,000 to help small-to-medium sized businesses grow their footprint and provide proven economic or industry boosts within their community.
Mr Love said $15 million would be allocated to CCF while another $70 million would be available across the two larger funding streams over five years, spread evenly across nine regions.
“We will also entrust Regional Development Commissions with managing the application, assessment and administration processes, devolving decision making away from Government,” he said.
“Labor stripped regional communities of grassroots funding opportunities previously available through Royalties for Regions, instead delivering the ‘Local Projects Local Jobs’ fund, a program that had no governance or open and fair application process.”