Sunday, July 11, 2010

Friends, lend us your ideas

AN unexpected $89,000 has been made available to the Derwent Valley Council on the condition that it meet certain criteria set by the Federal Government. On June 18, then prime minister Kevin Rudd announced that additional funding of $100 million for the Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program (RLCIP) would be made available.

This funding will assist councils to build and modernise community facilities including town halls, libraries, community centres, sports grounds and environmental infrastructure and is aimed at strengthening our communities during the economic recovery by supporting local jobs and provide long-term benefits to communities by renewing and upgrading local infrastructure.

Applications for this third round of the RLCIP scheme close at the end of this month. Despite the short timeframe, Mayor Martyn Evans agreed to my request that council seek public suggestions for suitable job-creating projects. Please send your ideas to the general manager at the council chambers, or by posting a comment to this blog or email

The Federal Government small print:  Eligible projects must be additional (or additional stages of current projects), and represent value for money. Additional projects are those which have not been included in the council’s budget for 2010/11, are new or can be brought forward as a result of RLCIP funding. Projects need to be ready to begin construction within six months of signing the funding agreement. Projects which represent value for public money are those which, in the context of the objectives and outcomes of the project, add value by achieving something worthwhile for the community that would not occur without grant assistance.

Councils are responsible for community consultation and the consideration of the community benefit for potential infrastructure projects within their jurisdictions. Councils are encouraged to consider projects that:
  • address the needs of the local indigenous population;
  • address environmental sustainability , and how their RLCIP activities will promote green building technologies, design practices and operations and preparing for climate change impacts; and
  • Involve collaboration with neighbouring councils including joint-projects.
Councils can also sponsor projects on behalf of not-for profit community organisations.

Eligible categories of infrastructure
Funding will be provided to councils for community infrastructure, including new construction and major renovations or refurbishments of assets such as:
  • social and cultural infrastructure (e.g. art spaces, gardens);
  • recreational facilities (e.g. swimming pools, sports stadiums);
  • tourism infrastructure (e.g. walkways, tourism information centres);
  • children, youth and seniors facilities (e.g. playgroup centres, senior citizens’ centres);
  • access facilities (e.g. boat ramps, footbridges); and
  • environmental initiatives (e.g. drain and sewerage upgrades, recycling plants);
Funding can be used for:
  • construction for new or upgraded facilities; and
  • refurbishment and fit out.
Ineligible projects
Projects must provide a clear and direct benefit to the local community. Examples of projects that are ineligible for this reason include those which support council operations (such as an upgrade of council offices), those which make a direct contribution to private businesses (other than those which provide a direct community service, or those which benefit specific individuals (such as the renovation of a caretaker’s residence). Funding will not be approved to bolster funding for existing projects which have exceeded their original budget forecasts. Funding cannot be used for:

  • ongoing costs (e.g. operational costs and maintenance);
  • roads or related infrastructure covered by the Roads to Recovery or Black Spots programs;
  • artworks;
  • information technology and communications hardware and software;
  •  non-fixed infrastructure [e.g. above ground irrigation systems]; or
  • project management costs.
 So, go to it. What would you like to see done with the $89,000 available to our municipality?All ideas I receive by Thursday afternoon will be presented to the council meeting that night.

No comments:

Post a Comment