Community projects snubbed in ‘long winded’ vote process

By Daniel Hughes

The Service NSW My Community Project announced successful applicants of the program offering up to $260,000 to each NSW electorate, but it was a disappointing program in the Southern Riverina.

The public was asked to vote on projects put forward by community organisations, but all Murray electorate funding went to the Griffith area.

The winning projects included a skate park in Yenda ($200,000) and to purchase a catering van for the Hanwood Can Assist ($46,000).

Tocumwal Rotary Creek walk project coordinator Kerry Davies was the spearhead for the upgrade of the Tocumwal Women’s Australian Air Force Auxiliary Force Creek Walk Master Plan.

She said many projects had votes go astray due to its ‘‘tedious and long-winded’’ application process.

‘‘It’s just disappointing to not receive the funding and holds up the upgrade even further,’’ Mrs Davies said.

‘‘I had many people come to me saying they wanted to vote but were put off by the long winded process to get through.’’

After filling out their details accompanied by their Medicare card, voters had to go through a process of elimination from their electorate and selection of top projects before finally choosing which one got their vote.

‘‘I really thought the project was worthwhile given the history of the track,’’ Mrs Davies added.

‘‘I thought it deserved to be successful and it is even more disappointing that all the funding went towards Griffith.’’

Not only was the application process difficult for voters but offered little closure to the organisations when the results came in.

‘‘We were only told we didn’t have enough votes,’’ Mrs Davies said.

‘‘There was no other information provided and to this day we still don’t know how many votes we got or how close we came to being successful.’’

In the Murray electorate, the local community submitted five projects in Berrigan and Tocumwal and one in the Albury electorate for Jerilderie.Local projects submitted that missed out include:

Murray electorate – Berrigan Community Golf and Bowling Club for automatic irrigation sprinklers; Berrigan Community Golf and Bowling Club for installation of an outdoor exercise circuit and children’s playground; Berrigan Children’s Centre to create an indoor learning space and an outdoor chill out place for school aged children; Tocumwal Football Netball Club for additional netball courts, and Tocumwal Rotary Club for the replacement of two pedestrian bridges as stage one of the WAAAF Creek Walk Master Plan.

Albury electorate – Jerilderie Lions Club, for a bronze statue of a young John Monash with Ned Kelly’s horse.

The successful Albury electorate projects included purchasing a refrigerated delivery van to provide emergency food relief in Albury ($35,000), installing shade sails at the Eastern View Estate Parks in East Albury ($55,088) and upgrading the Holbrook netball courts ($180,000).