Lismore MP Janelle Saffin says doubling the Community Building Partnership would help local tradespeople and small business
Lismore MP Janelle Saffin says doubling the Community Building Partnership would help local tradespeople and small business

Why pollies are banding together to help our clubs

LISMORE MP Janelle Saffin has urged the NSW Government to consider increasing the Community Building Partnership as the Northern Rivers aims to recover from COVID-19.

Ms Saffin has partnered up with Labor Shadow Minister Jo Haylen and Sophie Cotsis to double Community Building Partnership funding for local clubs.

The move comes after the program receiving a record number of applications for grant funding as the coronavirus pandemic challenges local clubs financially.

Ms Saffin said it would help the Northern Rivers recover from the COVID-19 impact.

“The NSW Government should increase funding for this year’s Community Building Partnership to support community groups and create opportunities for tradespeople and local small businesses,” Ms Saffin said.

“The North Coast of NSW has been particularly hard-hit, with many people losing jobs in the tourism and hospitality sectors.

“Data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows the North Coast has lost the most jobs of any regional area in NSW, with 6.2 per cent of payroll jobs lost since this crisis began.”

Currently, only $28 million is funding is available despite applications asking for a collective $133 million in funding.

Labor Shadow Minister Seniors and Cost of Living Jo Haylen agreed with Ms Saffin, noting the impact that COVID-19 had taken on local club’s revenue.

“Many sporting groups and community organisations have seen a huge fall in revenue due to COVID-19,” Ms Haylen said.

Labor Shadow Minister Better Public Services Sophie Cotsis said given the program has had a proven impact on communities, the right choice was to expand funding.

“This is a proven program which could provide a much-needed injection of funds for local community groups during this difficult time”.

The Community Building Partnership is a popular grant program for local organisations which has provided $334 million for 15,000 projects since 2009.