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Delivering the Government's commitment to local communities.

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Press Release Ref: 1435 Published: 31/1/2005 Title: Delivering the Government’s Commitment to Local Communities

Gary Nairn today encouraged community organisations to apply for the funding, which is part of the Howard Government’s Stronger Families and Communities Strategy.

“The Howard Government recognises the important role of volunteers and local community organisations in building capacity, leadership and mentoring in their local area,” Gary Nairn said.

“Under the Volunteer Small Equipment Grants, community groups can apply to receive up to $3,000 each to help them purchase small equipment items that will further assist the contribution Australia’s volunteers make.

“Previous Volunteer Small Equipment Grants have been allocated to a range of important projects like the Bateman’s Bay Volunteer Rescue Squad who received funding for vital communication devices including UHF CB radios.

“The Local Answers initiative helps strengthen disadvantaged communities by funding local, small-scale, time limited projects. The funding allows communities to develop their own solutions to local problems and helps them to help themselves.

“This approach recognises that communities know what their local issues are and how these issues should be addressed.

“Local Answers projects funded under previous grants include programs helping families to develop better parenting and relationship skills and supporting mentoring and leadership programs.

“These projects are great examples of the assistance the Stronger Families and Communities Strategy provides to local organisations to deliver beneficial activities in communities across Australia,” Gary Nairn said.

The Howard Government has allocated $19 million in funding for more than 100 projects under the Local Answers initiative and $3 million dollars for Volunteer Small Equipment grants in 2005.

Applications for both the Local Answers and Volunteer Small Equipment Grants initiatives close 5pm EST, Friday 4 March.

Application forms and guidelines are available from the Department of Family and Community Services’ website or by calling the Toll Free hotline 1800 050 044.