Just one week remains for schools, sports clubs and community organisations in the northern rivers region to apply for a cash grants scheme designed to suit smaller-scale projects that have the potential to save water and benefit the environment in regional Australia.
The Philmac Project provides cash grants of up to $5,000 to organisations undertaking water-related projects, such as installing systems to irrigate community gardens or replumbing clubhouses to use rainwater.
The national initiative for rural and regional communities, established by leading Australian poly fitting and valve manufacturer Philmac, is structured in such a way that is easy to apply, without having to fill in lengthy forms or jump through hoops.
‘We wanted to create a simple scheme without lots of red tape, that might help smaller organisations struggling to source funding or kick-start a project that has the potential to benefit their community, and the environment,’ says Philmac managing director Mark Nykiel.
‘We know it’s often difficult to find a bit of money that can make all the difference to whether a project happens or not, so this is our way of thanking people for supporting Philmac and enabling us to keep our manufacturing operations based here in Australia.
‘It’s an expression of our ongoing commitment to regional Australia and keeping communities connected through water.’
The deadline for applications is December 20. Applications are filled in online, via Facebook. Importantly, applicants then have to generate votes from their members and supporters to make the shortlist for each of the five voting regions (SA, WA, QLD/NT, NSW, VIC/TAS).
Recipients will be chosen from the shortlist by a special panel that includes Irrigation Australia chief executive Duane Findley and AgChatOz co-founder Sam Livingstone, with the winners due to be announced in February 2014.
‘The panel’s focus will be on making sure the money goes to a project that will make a genuine difference to the local community, and has the potential to reduce water use, improve water quality or benefit the environment in some way,’ Mr Nykiel said.
For more information and to submit an application for the grants go to www.philmacproject.com.au or facebook.com/PhilmacAustralia. Entries and voting close on Friday, December 20.