The Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, has announced a grant of $12,500 for Oxley Community Transport Service under Round 3 of the Stronger Communities Programme (SCP).
Mr Joyce said the funding will allow the vital Tamworth-based service, which travels as far as the Liverpool Plains, to upgrade its current transport to make it safer and more accessible for passengers.
“The grant will cover 50 per cent of the costs for the service to install a safety cage, seat belt extenders and swivel seats in their vehicles,” Mr Joyce said.
“This will offer a safe transport option for the elderly and those less mobile living in our local communities.
“It’s fantastic news for the transport service and the invaluable work they do in our region for medical transport, shopping buses and social outings for those in need.”
Oxley Community Transport manager Sharon Tibbs said the majority of funds will be used to provide a safe and appropriate storage solution for passengers’ walking aids when travelling.
“We want to keep people in their own homes, living as independently as they can but still offer that social outlet,” Ms Tibbs said.
“This funding will help us achieve that aim.”
Also to receive funding earlier this year under the SCP was Currububula Pony Club.
Mr Joyce announced in September the club would receive $11,344 to replace a damaged kitchen at the Currububula Recreation Reserve complex.
The SCP provides grants of between $2,500 and $20,000 to community organisations and local governments for capital projects.
The input of the community is a key element of the SCP. Projects are selected by Members of Parliament and their community consultation committees, and are then submitted to the Government for assessment.
Rounds one and two of the SCP funded a wide variety of projects across Australia including scoreboards, computers, community hall upgrades and clubhouses, men’s sheds, art works, inflatable rescue boats and disaster recovery generators. More than 3,300 community-based projects across Australia received funding through rounds one and two of the SCP.
In the 2017 Budget the Australian Government committed $22.5 million for a third round of the SCP.
For more information on the Stronger Communities Programme, visit: http://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/funding/scp/