Votes get popular projects over the line

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Eleven projects from Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula are among 237 Pick My Project ideas sharing $30 million of taxpayers’ money.

Ranging from charity works to recreational pursuits, the successful projects were chosen on the number of online votes they attracted.

The amount of money available to particular communities was based on an equal split between “regional partnership areas” in metro and regional Victoria and then on population numbers within those areas.

The peninsula had the second highest number of successful projects (eight) in the Southern Metro area but attracted the most money.

Improved lighting at Alexandra Park, Mornington attracted the most money, $200,000 while another project to increase the number of cricket nets from four to six at the same oval received another $194,000.

At the other end of the scale, a charity that provides mobile showers for homeless people in Frankston was given $20,149 after receiving 656 votes.

The Mobile Shower 4 Homeless has been operating for more than two years, helping people on the streets and facing hardship in Frankston, Dandenong, Narre Warren, Cranbourne, Chelsea, Pakenham and Doveton.

The money will allow the group to “upgrade from a trailer to a truck, so our friends can get more privacy”.

Back at Dallas Brooks Park, the Mornington Soccer Club gets $144,530 for windows and a verandah to provide “wet weather viewing”.

Also in the sporting area, was $196,000 (395 votes) to expand the existing 12 kilometres of mountain bike trails at Arthurs Seat State Park.

An entertaining idea for Sunday Sessions at the Briars, Mt Martha attracted $71,270 after receiving 270 votes.

The monthly Sunday event over summer is described as “a family event that combines music, sports, health and wellbeing”.

Another “family-friendly” monthly event is a farmers’ market at Mt Martha Farmers’ Market. The $146,900 (311 votes) will provide “a place to gather, meet up with friends and family while sharing ideas. It’s about accessing fresh produce while supporting and encouraging the local economy and creating a connection to food production”.

The 125-year-old Coolart Homestead at Somers receives $196,910 (240 votes) “to help restore the house and its heritage and, more importantly, open up rooms that can be used by visiting artists and writers, for community meetings, public events and education programs, subject to Parks Victoria approval.

From there, the chosen projects all deal with relationship and family problems.

The $178,000 going to Women in Recovery From Domestic and Family Violence in the peninsula region (341 votes) will be used to create “tailored retreats to maximise the potential for transformative, permanent healing”.

Mums Supporting Families in Need (435 votes) will use its $40,000 to supply essential material aid to families fleeing “necessitous and violent circumstances … to start life again”.

The Frankston-based Women’s Spirit Project (240 votes) receives $50,600 to help 25 women “build their mental, emotional and physical resilience through a unique adventure-based, life skills program that will develop their goal setting, communication, problem solving, parenting and budgeting skills”.

First published in the Frankston Times – 8 October 2018

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