THE Noorama Picnic Race Club is among a number of western Queensland organisations set to benefit from money just announced under the federal government’s Stronger Communities Program.
The only social hub for the small drought-affected town about 100km from Cunnamulla will receive $20,000 to build a new kitchen to help cater for the annual race meet and other sporting events and charity rallies.
Other groups in the Maranoa electorate to benefit are the Mulga Mates Centre at Quilpie and the Stonehenge Campdraft and Rodeo Association.
Mulga Mates will receive $7500 to purchase tables and chairs, baby cots and approved barriers, erecting fencing and garden beds, kindergym equipment and technological infrastructure to assist the centre in its efforts to provide a kindergarten option in Quilpie, while the Stonehenge Campdraft and Rodeo Association will receive $15,215 to build a new kitchen to help cater for its renowned rodeo weekend.
The grants were announced by Maranoa MP, David Littleproud, who said he’d been overwhelmed by the calibre and array of projects nominated when he put the call out in July, asking what organisations could do with $20,000.
“Locals know their community best and have innovative ideas on how to support their region,” he said.
“Whether it was community hall upgrades, armature shooting to polocrosse and rodeo associations – and everything in between – I received more than 50 applications seeking more than $500,000 in funding.
All federal electorates, including Maranoa, were allocated $150,000 under the Stronger Communities Programme, with up to 20 projects able to be funded.
An independent panel reviewed all funding applications and successful projects were then invited to progress to the next phase, where projects were then reviewed by the Industry Department for final approval.
“I represent 42 per cent of rural and remote Queensland and I wanted our bush communities to get the most out of this great funding initiative so I’d like to thank all the groups that put forward such wonderful projects,” Mr Littleproud said.
He said the money for Noorama would go a long way towards making the space more practical for community gatherings.
“Under the funding guidelines, projects had to deliver social benefits and the race club’s proposal will not only make catering easier but also this building is the town’s only social hub, used for monthly social gatherings, children’s playgroup and industry meetings.”
Mr Littleproud said Mulga Mates was the only approved childcare facility in the Quilpie region, whose community vision meant it hoped to expand to assist more families and grow young minds.
”Mulga Mates is seeking to become a kindergarten to provide educational and social opportunities for children aged 0-5 in this remote region.”
Similarly, the proposal by the Stonehenge Campdraft and Rodeo Association sought to not only make their space more functional but instil a sense of pride and bring business to the community for the tourism event, according to Mr Littleproud.
“The social-connectedness aspect is also strong as many families use the grounds.
“The association’s proposal will not only make catering easier but also this building is the town’s only social hub, used for monthly social gatherings, children’s playgroup and industry meetings.”