Popularity could be worth a lot of money for North East groups competing for a slice of the Victorian government’s “pick my project” initiative.
Their ability to win $20,000 to $200,000 in funding from a $30 million pool will rest on whether they can collect enough online votes.
With voting now open, promotion campaigns are well underway.
Wodonga has 15 projects up for funding, including $50,000 for the Heart of Wodonga Street Festival, celebrating the city’s past, present and future; the Learn Support Lead 12-month leadership from for women in sport worth $27,350; and a $60,000 upgrade to bring the Melrose Primary School toilets up to 2018 standards.
Bright’s cyclists need the competition to get $164,000 needed to save Alpine Community Plantation’s beginner mountain bike trail.
The existing pump track will close next year, because the surrounding trees due for harvest, so the money is needed for a new track.
Alpine Cycling Club member and the project’s proponent Phillip Robichaud said building a replacement track was important for riders of all ages and skill levels.
“On any given day you can find a family, new riders or even toddlers on runner bikes rolling around on Pump Track and it’s a truly wonderful thing to see,” he said.
“Trails like Pump Track are so important to a cycling community because they are safe, easy to access, user-friendly and are not only fun, but also exciting for all ages and skill levels.
“We want to secure funding to recreate that experience, while also taking this opportunity to move the trail to a more suitable location.”
Wangaratta Council is looking for $197,000 to create a “greenspace” in Murphy’s Lane.
The project is described as the first project of its kind in rural Victoria and would transform a vacant laneway into transformed into a living garden-art wall with plants grown in a solar-powered, rainwater-fed hydroponics system.
Other projects include $138,000 for a playground at Barnawartha Recreation Reserve, $184,000 to revitalise Burke Museum's "street of shops" exhibition in Beechworth and $200,000 for a culturally diverse community hub in Tallangatta.
Northern Victoria MP Jaclyn Symes said the “pick my project” initiative could help funding programs which might otherwise fall between the cracks.
“This is about putting community funding decisions back in the hands of communities, helping people in Northern Victoria come together to improve their local neighbourhood,” she said.
“I want to hear from young people, sporting clubs, community groups, schools, everyone who is active and involved in their community, because they know better than anyone what is needed.”
Residents aged 16 and over can vote for projects at www.pickmyproject.vic.gov.au until September 17.
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