Community Grants funds to be reviewed

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

The Greater Geelong council has agreed to suspend its 2020-21 Community Grants program and conduct a review, aiming to re-tailor the funding to provide maximum support in the region’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Applications for next financial year’s grants were due to open on 27 April and close on 24 May, however the council has decided it would be inappropriate to go ahead with that timeline given the current crisis.

A Notice of Motion moved by Cr Anthony Aitken and supported by the council contended that suspending the grants program for now would:

  • Remove uncertainty around what projects and events could and could not be delivered;
  • Remove difficulties for community groups in trying to coordinate and complete applications during the current challenging time; and
  • Allow the council to review the grants program and potentially develop new grants specifically targeted to aid the recovery of the region once the COVID-19 crisis reaches that phase.

As part of the same Notice of Motion, the council has also agreed to review applications for remaining funding in the 2019-20 community grants program, to assess which proposals could and could not go ahead in the current environment.

Recommendations for this funding will now come before council by 26 May, once the review has taken place.

Mayor Stephanie Asher

It’s a shame to have to suspend the Community Grants program for now, but in the environment we’re faced with at the moment it’s the only realistic course of action. Opening applications during April would simply have made it too difficult for community groups given the challenges we’re all facing at the moment.

The decision gives the council a chance to step back and look at the structure of the grants as a whole, and re-shape it for 2020-21 only so that more funds are directed towards projects that will aid the region’s recovery from the pandemic.

Councillor Anthony Aitken - Chair, Finance portfolio

This is another COVID-19 leadership response from Geelong Council. We have a limited financial arsenal to fight for our community to survive and recover from COVID-19, and that also is why local government in Australia and Geelong are advocating for State and Federal Government support on behalf of our community. Suspending the 2020-21 grants program gives us a little bit of powder in our guns to help fire the recovery programs when needed in our community.

Page last updated: Friday, 29 May 2020