Locals in Eastern Metropolitan Region will be given the chance to nominate and decide on their own funding under a new community building fund, announced today by the Andrews Labor Government.

The new grassroots democracy program, Pick My Project, will be backed by $30 million from the Victorian Budget 2018/19 and will be spread across the state, giving every community the chance to benefit.

In a Victorian-first, all residents aged 16 and over will be able to submit their idea for consideration under the program.

All they’ll need is an idea that helps build a stronger Eastern metropolitan Region and the backing of a local organisation, community group, school, local council, or other eligible group able to help deliver the project.

Ideas could include anything from sporting and recreation infrastructure, community arts projects, improvements to community facilities or the local environment.

Projects will need to be feasible and have land-owner consent, but there will be no restrictive guidelines – meaning many local priorities that fall-between the cracks of other grant programs will be eligible for funding.

Communities will then get to vote for the projects they think are most important, giving residents in Eastern metropolitan Region the first and final say on the best way to improve their area.

Projects between $20,000 and $200,000 will be eligible under the program.

The Budget will also provide a $50 million boost to Growing Suburbs Fund to deliver more vital community infrastructure projects across Melbourne’s booming outer suburbs, in line with local council priorities.

The initiative will start in May and winning projects will be announced in September 2018. To get ready and register your interest, visit pickmyproject.vic.gov.au

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Metropolitan Region, Shaun Leane

“This is about putting community funding decisions back in the hands of communities – helping people in the community come together to improve their neighbourhood.”

“We want to hear from young people, sporting clubs, community groups, schools, everyone who is active and involved in the Eastern Metropolitan region – because they know better than anyone what is needed.”