Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) is inviting community groups and organisations to apply for round six of the Inland Rail Community Sponsorships and Donations program.
Inland Rail director of engagement, environment and property Rebecca Pickering said the grants could assist regional communities heavily impacted by COVID-19 social distancing requirements.
“Delivering Inland Rail is only possible in partnership with the communities in which we operate,” Ms Pickering said.
“Supporting our communities’ sustainability is paramount.
“A key commitment of Inland Rail is to leave a positive legacy along the rail corridor and the community sponsorships and donations program is just one example of how we ensure regional communities benefit from this unique project.”
Projects funded represent a diverse range of initiatives such as upgrading community facilities, skills building in the areas of STEM education and inclusive events.
“In the first three rounds of the program, Inland Rail donated $180,000 toward a range of events, projects and activities along the rail corridor including sporting groups, schools, men’s groups and Indigenous Cultural Groups, and we want this effort to continue,” Ms Pickering said.
Ms Pickering said the Australian Government had carefully assessed and prioritised the safe delivery of Inland Rail during the COVID-19 pandemic.
She said ARTC considered programs to support local schools, community groups and associations were more important than ever.
“Because of the impact COVID-19 has had on our communities, we are specifically encouraging applications for projects that increase the capacity to deliver services during the ongoing pandemic or create online STEM programs for students while they are being home-schooled,” she said.
“Other types of projects which the program is looking to support include online literacy education programs to local communities, capital works which can be done by local tradespeople or to help fund equipment which can be bought locally.
“Schools, community groups and associations in regional communities across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria can view the application criteria to tap into the Inland Rail Community sponsorships and donations program for grants of between $1000 and $4000 on the Inland Rail website.”
Applications close July 31.