Picked from the pack

Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - By JUSTIN JENVEY

THREE In­digo Shire ini­tia­tives will share in al­most half a mil­lion dol­lars through the State Gov­ern­ment’s Pick My Project fund­ing.

The Yackan­dan­dah Care Sanc­tu­ary, Restora­tion of Rutherglen Scout Hall and Yackan­dan­dah Creek Recre­ational Trail were among eight suc­cess­ful project ideas an­nounced for the Ovens and Mur­ray re­gion.

Through the Vic­to­rian-first com­mu­nity grants ini­tia­tive there was a min­i­mum of $1 mil­lion up for grabs within each of the six metro and nine re­gional part­ner­ship ar­eas in the state.

The Yackan­dan­dah Care Sanc­tu­ary and Restora­tion of Rutherglen Scout Hall projects were both granted $200,000 while the Yackan­dan­dah Creek Recre­ational Trail project will re­ceive fund­ing of $94,500.

It’s hoped the con­struc­tion of a 1.7 kilo­me­tre multi-use trail from the Yackan­dan­dah Gorge to Bells Flat will be the first stage of a 6km cir­cuit to cre­ate an off-road loop to the town­ship.

The trail will in­clude di­rec­tional sig­nage and in­ter­pre­tive signs about flora/fauna and his­tory, pic­nic and ob­ser­va­tion ar­eas and op­por­tu­ni­ties to con­tinue wildlife mon­i­tor­ing.

The track ex­ten­sion will also cre­ate a link to the Yackan­dan­dah Moun­tain Bike Track Net­work, pro­vid­ing a safer ac­cess point than the cur­rent road.

Fund­ing for the Rutherglen Scout Hall will go to­wards pay­ing for sig­nif­i­cant struc­tural works so that the build­ing can con­tinue to serve fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

The hall on High Street has been home to the 1st Rutherglen Scout Group since 1910 and is cur­rently used by 60 chil­dren and 6-8 vol­un­teer lead­ers ev­ery week for the teach­ing of life skills, lead­er­ship, re­spon­si­bil­ity and ser­vice.

Much needed up­grades will also keep the venue avail­able to other com­mu­nity groups to come to­gether to meet, cre­ate or learn.

Yackan­dan­dah Health is aim­ing to en­hance com­mu­nity well­be­ing with the ad­di­tion of a care sanc­tu­ary at its res­i­den­tial aged care fa­cil­ity in the town.

They plan to es­tab­lish a ther­a­peu­tic space in­clud­ing a barn and pad­dock, have an­i­mals and a pro­duc­tive gar­den for se­nior res­i­dents, many who have farm­ing back­grounds, to pro­mote ac­tiv­ity and out­door en­gage­ment.

It will also be open to the whole com­mu­nity and will be utilised by chil­dren and staff at the new child­care cen­tre set to open at Yackan­dan­dah Health.

Yackan­dan­dah Health chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer An­nette Nuck praised the Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment for the Pick My Project ini­tia­tive and said her or­gan­i­sa­tion would look to get started on the sanc­tu­ary soon.

“Be­cause we’re a com­mu­nity owned or­gan­i­sa­tion and don’t get op­por­tu­ni­ties to get fund­ing and grants with most closed to pub­lic sec­tor this was a re­ally fan­tas­tic thing,” she said.

“Ini­tially we won­dered how it (Pick My Project vot­ing) would work but thought we’d have a go be­cause we be­lieved we had a re­ally great idea.

“It ap­pears that peo­ple thought so too and in­stead of this be­ing some­thing we do a few years down the track it’s go­ing to hap­pen a lot quicker now.”

Res­i­dents aged 16 and over were en­cour­aged to have their say by vot­ing for their favourite project ideas in their com­mu­nity with those re­ceiv­ing the most votes suc­cess­ful in se­cur­ing be­tween $20,000 and $200,000.

In­digo Shire (3) along with the Alpine (3) and Towong (2) shires were the only lo­cal gov­ern­ment ar­eas in the Ovens and Mur­ray re­gion to have projects funded.

Across the state there are 237 projects that will share in $30 mil­lion.

IN NEED OF RE­PAIRS: The Rutherglen Scout Hall will get much needed up­grades thanks to fund­ing through a Vic­to­rian-first com­mu­nity grants ini­tia­tive.

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