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Wednesday, 4 May 2016
Page: 4448


Ms HALL (ShortlandOpposition Whip) (10:06): The second round of the Stronger Community Program grants has closed. In Shortland electorate, we have some fantastic applications that have been put in for grants between $5,000 and $20,000, and I would like to put on record in the parliament my thanks to the committee members for their time and commitment to the process. My thanks go to Allan Bargwanna, former president of Valentine Bowling Club and formal regional manager of the federal Department of Employment in the Hunter; Sheena Harvey, manager of Belmont Neighbourhood Centre; Geoff Robinson, principal of Belmont High School; Bill Symington, former business owner and former Wyong Shire councillor; and Lisa McDermott from my office who has coordinated the projects on the committee.

This has been an outstanding committee and it has some good projects to look at. Already we have had projects that involve men's sheds, surf-lifesaving, school P&Cs, sporting groups, environment groups, Rotary clubs, scout groups and a number of other support groups. All the applications were lodged on time, and I am pleased to report that nine of the round 1 projects have been approved and a further five of the round's projects are still waiting for the decision. Unfortunately, it has been a bit slow.

Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie received $15,000 in order to get a new 6,000-litre fuel tank on site to help train in skills for water rescues. That will be of enormous benefit to Lake Macquarie as a whole. Redhead Surf Lifesaving Club got some new equipment for their function room. Girrinbai Community Preschool have a wheelchair-friendly sensory playground for children with special needs. The Belmont Neighbourhood Centre community garden has a fit-out for a new building with walls, floor, kitchenette et cetera. These are great projects. Belmont Men's Shed has a new storage shed for donated timber, and 1st Belmont Scouts group has an internal hall refurbishment. Charlestown Public School P&C has a new playground. The Belmont community centre have put in an application for funds, and Dudley Public School P&C has an application for play equipment. Summerland Point progress association is still waiting for the outcome of its application. The YMCA at Lake Haven, Charlestown Rotary, NOVA women's refuge and Charmhaven tennis club are still waiting to hear whether their projects have been approved.

Round 2 projects are excellent, just like round 1, and I congratulate all those community organisations for the work that they have done in submitting their applications.