October 13, 2015

Four local projects will share $20,000 in funding, with EnergyAustralia today announcing the recipients of the 2015 Waterloo Wind Farm Community Fund.

The Gilbert Valley Lions Club, which operates a catering van at community events including country markets, regional shows and football matches, is one of the Community Fund recipients.

Jim Goodfellow, who is the club's 'Lion Tamer', said the much-needed grant will allow them to make urgent upgrades to the catering van.

"The money we get from selling donuts and drinks from the van makes up about 90 per cent of our annual funding, which we feed back into the community, so we desperately needed this grant to upgrade equipment to continue operating the van in accordance with food handling regulations," Jim says.

"We are very grateful because without someone like EnergyAustralia providing funding to carry out these vital upgrades, we wouldn't have been able to fix our van and may have had to just stop using it all together."

Funding was also received by the Clare Valley Flying Club, a not-for-profit organisation that runs the Clare aerodrome, which is used by community groups including Rotary and Lions, and emergency services including the Country Fire Service and the Royal Flying Doctors Service.

Clare Valley Flying Group Treasurer Tony Smith said the funds will allow them to install a stand-alone solar photovoltaic (PV) system and battery, which would help the aerodrome reduce its operational costs.

"At the moment, we're using a petrol powered generator, which is really expensive to run so having a solar PV system, with the generator as a back-up, will not only allow us to operate more efficiently but also in an environmentally friendly way," Mr Smith said.

"The Waterloo Community Fund grant is a welcomed boost from EnergyAustralia, which will help the aerodrome better service the wide range of community groups that use it."

EnergyAustralia's South Australian Operations Manager Mike Clee said he was pleased with the outcome of the Waterloo Wind Farm grants.

"We believe it's important to support projects that deliver ongoing benefits to the broader community," Mr Clee said.

"In selecting these grant recipients, we can clearly see how these projects will add value to the local community by providing real, long-term social and environmental benefits."

"Like us, our partners are keen to see the Mid North community work together to improve our way of life."

Other grant recipients include the Farrell Flat Management Committee for the redevelopment of Duncan Park and the Gilbert Valley Cricket Club to improve the condition of the Saddleworth oval which is also used by the Saddleworth primary school.

The successful applicants were selected by a panel of EnergyAustralia employees and members of the Mid North Community Liaison Group.