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Council grants music to community’s ears

The Elliott Coastal Musos received a grant towards sound equipment.

More than 40 local community groups shared in $79,532 in 2021 for a diverse range of projects supported by Bundaberg Regional Council’s community and micro grant programs.

The 41 groups which successfully applied for a Council grant used them in unique ways including the purchase of new equipment, updating facilities, and hosting community events.

Community Services portfolio spokesperson Cr Tracey McPhee said it was fantastic to see the range of initiatives supported over the last 12 months.

“These groups provide a valuable service in our region and to be able to support them in projects that bring a sense of community, friendship, and wellbeing is a priority for Council,” Cr McPhee said.

“These aren’t just 41 successful grant applications, these are 41 instances where community groups have identified an initiative or project essential to the community or their continued operations.

“The community grants program provides an essential source of funding to ensure our vibrant and robust network of community groups can focus on what they do best.”

The Elliott Coastal Musos are just one of those successful grant applicants, receiving $4500 for a new PA system.

“We have been performing with limited equipment and wished to be able to give a more professional performance – and transportable – to enable us to perform at local community events,” said group coordinator Debbie Bennett.

“We can also lend the equipment out to smaller groups to use for functions.”

Debbie said the Elliott Coastal Musos were founded in early 2021 and had since grown into a great community collaboration.

“We have had numerous instruments coming along being guitar, ukulele, banjo, drums, harmonicas, clarinet, and voice.

“Our hope is to reduce social isolation within the community, by bringing people together who love music and want to learn a new skill or reignite an old one.”

Debbie said applying for a Bundaberg Regional Council Community Grant was simple.

“I went along to one of the community-based grants information workshops. The information was very detailed and explained in simple terms.”

The group has around 40 members and welcomes visitors every Thursday at the Elliott Heads Coastal Club from 4 pm to 7 pm.

“As we have varying degrees of skill sets, starting from absolute beginners to skilled musicians, this enables us to learn from each other.”

Cr McPhee announced last year that the community grants program budget was bolstered to $100,000 for the 2021-22 financial year.

She said the increase of $20,000 aimed to address the impacts of the pandemic and the subsequent financial strain on community organisations.

“These are challenging times for everyone, especially for our community groups that rely solely on volunteers,” Cr McPhee said.

Community groups and not for profit organisations can apply for up to $5000 through the community grants program, or $1000 through the micro grant program.

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