Member for Maitland, Jenny Aitchison, has announced that applications for funding through the 2017 Community Building Partnership program have opened.

This year the NSW Government has finally allocated the Maitland electorate the full amount of funding ($300,000) for new infrastructure-based projects that meet a need in the local community.

In 2015 and 2016, Ms Aitchison wrote to Premier Mike Baird urging him to reconsider the $200,000 allocation to the Maitland and Upper Hunter electorates. The funding had been determined based on 2011 unemployment data from the Census, despite the fact that unemployment had more than doubled under his government.

The Maitland electorate was one of 45 electorates who were unfairly disadvantaged due to the Liberal National's poor record on creating jobs during the mining downturn. Unemployment levels in Maitland have decreased in the last year due to the $400million investment by Stockland in the Greenhills shopping centre redevelopment. Ms Aitchison contends the Government should have started construction on the new Maitland hospital sooner in order to create more jobs in the city.

Community Building Partnership (CBP) grants are open to local councils and incorporated not-for-profits such as charities, sporting, social and environmental groups looking to build or refurbish essential facilities for their community.

In previous years, the program has helped local government and charities deliver new infrastructure for community groups and schools, and helped pay for much-needed improvements to local sports facilities, parks and clubs. This is grassroots funding which directly benefits communities.

Grant applications must have a minimum value of $2500 to be eligible for funding under the program. There is no maximum. The $300,000 will be shared across the Maitland electorate.

Applications for funding will be open from Monday 26 June to Wednesday 9 August 2017. Successful groups will be announced in December.

Last year funding in Maitland was shared between 18 groups, including $20,000 to the Lochinvar Rovers Football Club for their lighting upgrade and $28,400 to the Maitland Basketball Association for the resurfacing and painting of Maitland Federation Centre.

For information on who can apply, what projects are eligible for funding and how to apply, Applications close at 5pm, Wednesday 9 August.

Quotes Attributable to Member for Maitland Ms Jenny Aitchison MP

“In 2015 and 2016, the Maitland electorate only received $200,000 where $300,000 was made available for the remaining 48 electorates with higher levels of disadvantage as indicated by higher comparative unemployment rates."

“Local organisations in the Maitland electorate have missed out on $200,000 over the last two years and I’m calling on the Berejiklian Government to show their commitment to our local organisations and provide the funding that they’ve missed out on.”

"There should be a special top up for those communities like Maitland and Dungog which have missed out."

“If your organisation needs funding for the building, refurbishment or enhancement of facilities that deliver positive social, recreational, inclusive and environmental outcomes for the community, I encourage you to apply.”

“There is a high demand for funds through the program, so please ensure you take the required time and care in preparing your application against the assessment criteria.”

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