Building Economic Strengths and Sustainability
One of the unique aspects of FRRR is our ability to support economic development as a charitable activity. A sustainable community attracts resources, services and new residents, so it important that the community works together to achieve this.
We support many communities that seek to strengthen or adapt their local economic drivers. For example, a number of progressive communities have used FRRR grants to diversify their economy away from a declining mining industry to focus on tourism opportunities, and some drought impacted communities are embracing new technologies and enterprises to build financial stability. We also provide support to communities for economic recovery post-emergency or disaster, to enhance agricultural development and address barriers to employment.
New idea, new appeal for visitors
The Jurien Bay Chamber of Commerce successfully obtained $1.1 million of funding for Stage 1 via four major grants, including $500,000 from a FRRR Tailored Grant, funded by the Ardross Group, in conjunction with Fremantle Community Foundation. This involved laying a 7.4km path, signage, beach access tracks, bike stands, shelters and a toilet. Additional stages will be added over time.
The idea of a bike path linking Jurien Bay to Cervantes, in WA, was floated at a 2015 community planning workshop as an option to stimulate economic growth in the area. Both communities immediately saw the benefits of a 27km running and cycling path, as a lifestyle option for residents and a new attraction for visitors.
Several significant nature reserves are in the local vicinity, which draw international visitors to the Turquoise Coast region and this new bike path, will provide easy access to lovely picnic spots and a path for casual or competitive exercise. A real local drawcard!
Putting Felton on the map
In 2008, the residents of Felton were confronted with the prospect of an open cut coalmine and petrochemical plant being built on their land. The odds didn’t appear to be in their favour – but four and half years later, the Friends of Felton secured their future. To celebrate this outcome, the locals decided to showcase their local agriculture and encourage visitors to the area. The Felton Food Festival was formed in 2012 and the town of 250 people now hosts more than 7,000 visitors each year to taste local produce directly from the farmers.
A $5,000 grant from the Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities, funded by Monsanto, has supported the growth of the festival, along with over 170 volunteers helping with all aspects of running the event.
To read more examples of communities building economic strength and sustainability, click through to the full Annual Review.