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Fact check - Alphington Access All Abilities program

11 May 2017

A recent article in the Leader newspaper included some misleading information about Yarra Council’s support for the Access All Abilities program at the Alphington Bowls Club.

The program, run in partnership with the Alphington Community Centre, provides a supportive environment for people with a disability or mental health issue to learn to play lawn bowls.

Council has proudly supported the program through its annual grants, providing $3500 each year for the last five years. The program continued to receive funding in 2017.

Council stepped in to support the program when the State Government (Sport and Recreation Victoria) withdrew its funding five years ago.

Council’s grant, one of several funding sources for the program, was intended to be a temporary measure to keep the program running in the short term.

Council has had positive conversations with the Alphington Community Centre about the future of the program. The centre understands that five years is an unusually long time for Council to have funded the program and that alternative funding sources need to be found.

There is high demand for Council’s annual grants, which support initiatives spanning the arts, sport and the environment. Council this year provided more than $814,000 in funding to 135 initiatives out of 233 applications received.

Applications for Council’s annual grants are assessed by an independent panel made up of representatives from community organisations.

The panel’s recommendation was consistent with Council’s view that the Alphington Access All Abilities program continue to receive funding in 2017, but move towards other funding sources in 2018.

The reason provided by the panel was that the program has received funding for several years, and that Alphington Bowls Club and the Alphington Community Centre already receive other financial support from Council.

Council is confident that its rigorous process for assessing grants ensures funding is distributed fairly to not-for-profit community programs and targeted to meet the needs of our community.

A copy of the resolution from 22 November 2016 endorsing the 2017 annual grants appears below. 

Annual Grants 2017 resolution

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