I got ‘tooled up’ last week to help fix some doors at the Coffs Harbour Men’s Shed this week to mark the completion of the latest stage of the fit-out of the shed they’ve built with help from Council through the Community Capital Infrastructure Grants program.
If you don’t believe me – take a look at the photo!
The Men’s Shed is exactly the sort of project I saw happening when I initiated the Grants back in 2013. The grants are designed to match funding raised by applicants to improve community facilities. The aim is to assist not-for-profit and community organisations to undertake capital projects that enhance the economic, social and environmental well-being of the whole local community.
The ideas and impetus – and a lot of the hard graft – comes from the community group involved, while Council can help with funds and know-how.
They’re doing a fantastic job down there and I know they’re also getting a lot of support from other groups and individuals throughout the city. Gotta love a good cause!
The latest round of grant funding is now open, just go to Council’s website and search for grants.
End the Freeze
On a more serious note, Council has joined councils throughout Australia in calling on the Australian Government to honour its promise to restore annual inflation increases to the local government Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs) payments in the upcoming Budget.
In the past, these funds have played an important role in helping us provide vital services and infrastructure for the community.
The Commonwealth’s decision in the 2014 Federal Budget to freeze indexation of this funding means Coffs Harbour has had a reduced level of FAGs for the past three years, putting a noticeable dent in our cash flow and impacting on the services we’re able to provide.
The Australian Government committed to restore indexation in this year’s Federal Budget and we’re asking them to honour that pledge.