THE environment will be the big winner from a Liberal and Nationals’ Government grants program which will deliver up to $150,000 across the Riverina and Central West for small-scale community-led projects.

Riverina MP, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said funding would be available through the new $22 million Communities Environmental Program.

Environment priorities which can be considered for funding include:

• Waste and litter reduction

• Protecting native animals, including our threatened species

• Addressing weeds and pest animals

• Restoring wetlands, riverbanks and waterways

• Greening parks and urban areas

“This is a fantastic opportunity for Riverina and Central West people, who know their communities best, to complete grass roots projects which clean and green their local environment,” Mr McCormack said.

“We have seen how community-driven and supported projects, such as the Marrambidya Wetlands in Wagga Wagga, can improve the environment for native flora and fauna and enrich all our lives.”

Each electorate around Australia can receive funding for up to 20 projects, with the minimum grant being $2,500 and the maximum grant set at $20,000.

Initial expressions of interest (EOI) are now open and should be returned to Mr McCormack’s office as soon as possible before 22 March 2019.

An EOI form can be obtained by telephoning Mr McCormack’s Wagga Wagga office on (02) 6921 4600 or emailing

At the end of the EOI period Mr McCormack will invite selected EOIs to submit formal applications for funding in 2019-2020.

To be eligible for funding you must be a community organisation which is a legal entity and able to enter into a grant agreement with the Commonwealth.

Community clubs (including Lions clubs, Apex clubs and Rotary clubs), Scouts and Guides groups, sports clubs, not-for-profit organisations (such as Indigenous organisations, Landcare groups, bushcare and ‘friends of’ groups), schools, councils and other community and conservation groups are all encouraged to apply.

“If your organisation is nominated, you will be invited by me to apply formally when the program officially opens in mid 2019 through the Australian Government Business Grants Hub,” Mr McCormack said.

“Nominated projects will need to meet program guidelines and eligibility criteria, which will be made available closer to the opening date.”

Mr McCormack said the Communities Environmental Program was part of the Government’s $3.5 billion Climate Solutions Package, which will ensure Australia meets its 2030 emissions reduction target through practical measures which reduce emissions, improve energy efficiency and improve the environment.

Shane Manning