Steph Cooke stands in a green and white dress smiling at a man and a woman in front of the Cowra racecourse.

Crown land managers and community groups that use Crown land across the Cootamundra electorate now have the chance to share in $17 million in grants from the latest round of the Crown Reserves Improvement Fund (CRIF).

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said CRIF grants were available to upgrade and maintain community facilities and reserves across the electorate and applications were open until 25 June 2021.

“CRIF funding has helped transform many of our important community spaces, transforming West Wyalong’s caravan park, building new amenities at Murrumburrah Showground, undertaking upgrades at Junee Reefs Hall and building a new kitchen at the Barellan Showground, just to name a few,” Ms Cooke said.

“This program enables our communities to maintain and upgrade reserves and community facilities on Crown land, so if you’re a Crown land reserve managers or user of these public spaces and have a project in mind I encourage you to apply.”

“This latest round will bring to life improvements to community facilities while supporting local jobs, businesses and the region’s economy through upgrade work. It will also fund bushfire management and weed and pest control on reserves.”

Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey said grants will support projects that can deliver social, environmental, cultural and economic benefits.

“Crown reserves play a critical role by protecting the environment and providing green open spaces for parks, ovals, walking, cycling and sports and recreation activities to keep communities healthy and happy,” Mrs Pavey said.

“They also provide affordable and secure land for a wide range of community-focused organisations including surf life-saving clubs, Scouts and Girl Guide groups, the RSPCA, PCYC and State Emergency Services, among others.”

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said this year’s fund aims to help communities recover from bushfires, floods, drought and COVID-19.

“Grants are available to maintain and develop recreational and tourism facilities on public reserves for community use and enjoyment,” Mr Stokes said.

“Another focus will be to support projects that contribute to greater energy and water efficiency by encouraging the use of renewable energy and water saving technologies, and environmentally sustainable practices to reduce emissions.”

“We are also focusing on projects that can support Aboriginal communities and interests through co-management of Crown land, and greater recognition and education regarding Indigenous cultural heritage.”

For further information and to apply for a grant visit: https://reservemanager.crownland.nsw.gov.au/funding/crif