MATTERS OF STATE: There’s $100m reasons to put the arts front and centre

ARTS FOCUS: Member for Orange Phil Donato and Orange Regional Gallery director Brad Hammond look forward to the possibility of more arts funding. Photo: CONTRIBUTED
ARTS FOCUS: Member for Orange Phil Donato and Orange Regional Gallery director Brad Hammond look forward to the possibility of more arts funding. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

I WOULD like to draw the attention of people with an interest in the arts in the Orange electorate to the Regional Cultural Fund.

I know that interest in the arts is strong throughout the electorate and I would like to see some of this $100 million that is to be carved up among regional communities over the next four years come to this electorate.

The Regional Cultural Fund program opened for expressions of interest on Monday, July 17.

I encourage arts enthusiasts to consider the program and suggest that you email regional@arts.nsw.gov.au and request a copy of the program’s guidelines.

The program will cater large-scale infrastructure projects over $1 million, medium-scale infrastructure projects between $60,000 and $1 million and small-scale infrastructure under $60,000.

The program is also open to operational projects, such as touring exhibitions and services that provide local experiences to visitors and to promote increased participation in creative and cultural activities.

For more information, visit www.create.nsw.gov.au.

THE COMMUNITY BUILDING GRANTS PROGRAM IS OPEN

WHILE on the subject of grants, I would like to remind communities that the Community Building Partnership Grants program is now open for applications.

I encourage organisations that are eligible to apply under this grant program to make an application as soon as possible.

To find out if your organisation is eligible to apply and the type of projects that qualify, go to: www.communitybuildingpartnership.nsw.gov.au/program_guidelines.

Applications can be made online until 5pm on Wednesday, August 9.

HOW TO PUT A PRICE ON THE PLASTIC WE TOSS AWAY

I KNOW many people get upset by the accumulation of plastic bottles in public places.

More often than not, the careless disposal of these items is often because they have no value.

Therefore, some people do not care what happens to them and instead of putting them in a recycling bin, they simply dump them.

It is believed that these items make up 49 per cent of all rubbish that goes into landfill, whereas they could be recycled.

For many years South Australia has had a deposit on these items, which has resulted in a huge reduction in the volume that ends up in landfill.

The introduction of a container deposit scheme is a step towards addressing the issue.

Under the scheme eligible containers between 150 millilitres and 500 millilitres in size will attract a 10 cent refund at collection points.

In other states where the refunds apply I have heard that collecting refundable bottles is a popular pastime for grandparents who then use the funds as savings for their grandchildren, while others are known to give the proceeds to a charity.

The scheme is planned to start in December 2017.

More information can be accessed at epa.nsw.gov.au/waste/container-deposit-scheme.htm.

Phil Donato is the member of the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers party and the member for Orange.