City of Busselton introduce You Choose grants program

Busselton resident Howard George would like to see the community grants used to plant jarrah trees along Layman Road.
Busselton resident Howard George would like to see the community grants used to plant jarrah trees along Layman Road.

The City of Busselton have introduced a new You Choose funding program to offer grants of up to $20,000 to community groups, individuals, businesses or schools totalling $100,000.

The program is for community led projects or initiatives that help improve the neighbourhood, or the broader community.

City of Busselton mayor Grant Henley said the program was different to other city community funding programs.

"The community develop and put forward ideas and, following a simple assessment to ensure they are safe, legal and in the spirit of the program, they are put to the community to consider," he said.

"The community plays a key role in choosing which projects they want the $100,000 to fund. The most popular projects, as voted by the community, are put to council for endorsement.

"The aim of the program is to encourage creative thinking and a 'have a go' mentality while building resilience, capacity and cooperation in our community.

"I encourage everyone that has a great idea to improve their neighbourhood to start a conversation and consider You Choose as an opportunity."

One community member with a big idea is Howard George, who suggested to the Mail that a strip of land along Layman Road could be used to grow jarrah for the Busselton Jetty.

Mr George said the state government's announcement to end native forest logging in 2024 could pose a problem for the jetty to access jarrah wood.

"The display pylons at the Underwater Observatory are made from jarrah," he said.

"My intention is to get some seedlings from the Geographe Community Landare Nursery and get them to grow some jarrah trees along the vacant strip of land.

"In five decades time the jarrah trees should be the right size to use as pylons or cross beams.

"There is no reason why we should not do something like that now."

You Choose is a pilot program to provide the community with an opportunity to participate in the allocation of a part of the City's budget.

Submissions open on October 12 and close on November 8, 2021.

Information sessions on the program will be held in Busselton and Dunsborough, and community voting opening in January next year.

Please visit busselton.wa.gov.au/community-funding for further information.