Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Catherine Cusack has announced $694,881 in successful grant applications from the Stronger Country Communities Fund to benefit community infrastructure and youth-related projects in Port Stephens.
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Ms Cusack congratulated Port Stephens Council who secured $502,618 towards construction of their $2.6M Tomaree Sport Complex Multi-purpose facility, along with Port Stephens Police Citizens Youth Club which will get a boost to youth services with $192,263 in funding.
“The new multi-purpose building, to be built at the Tomaree Sports Complex, will host local sporting clubs, youth services and events. It will include a meeting room, office space, all-access amenities, new change rooms, a canteen, a referee’s room, a first aid room, as well as additional storage spaces,” said Ms Cusack.
PCYC will use their funding to introduce ‘Fit for Work/Fit for Life’ – a program which aims to support at-risk youth who may be disengaged from education or employment by providing positive opportunities that educate, inspire and empower.
“Fit for Work/Fit for Life is a resilience and capacity building program that integrates two approaches to support the NSW Police Commissioner’s RISEUP Youth Strategy,” said Ms Cusack.
“In partnership with Police Officers from NSW Youth and Crime Prevention Command, the program offers real-life skills development and creates employment readiness through pre-employment training, vocational qualifications, structured work experience and mentoring.”
Phillip Ross, Club Manager from PCYC Port Stephens said the funding would make a huge difference to youth in the area.
“Fit for Work/Fit for Life is an 18 month program that will provide accredited employment ready programs to young people across the Nelson Bay and Raymond Terrace areas,” said Mr Ross.
“PCYC and NSW Police will forge partnership opportunities to allow young people to work alongside local trades within the construction and hospitality industries as part of the RISEUP strategy.”
Port Stephens Mayor Ryan Palmer welcomed the funding and thanked the NSW Government for continuing to support Port Stephens.
“This is fantastic news for the Port Stephens community — I know how much our locals value these amenities and the ability to keep fit and healthy,” said Cr Palmer.
“The successful grant applications for the Tomaree Sports Complex and the PCYC Fit for Life/Fit for Work program will allow our community to continue utilising these facilities for many years to come.”
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said $100 million was being distributed across regional NSW, with regional communities set to benefit from more than 550 new projects.
To date, rounds one and two of the program have funded more than 1,000 projects.
“Locals across regional NSW are seeing the benefits of rounds one and two of the Fund, with projects making a big difference to everyday life, from new playgrounds loved by kids to light towers illuminating sporting fields,” Mr Barilaro said.
“We are funding grassroots projects that make a real difference to each community, and we know how important it is to support our regional towns with new infrastructure and programs.”
The $400 million Stronger Country Communities Fund is part of the NSW Government’s $1.7 billion Regional Growth Fund, which is being invested in local programs and infrastructure that improve the lives of people living in regional NSW.