Car grants brings Tassie communities in from the dark

By Rob O’Brien
It’s a been a long time coming but Tasmanian communities have been offered a solution to isolation in the form of car grants from the state government.

Councils, community groups and NGOs have all signed up for the Cars for Communities Grant Program, which should see them overcome the tyranny of isolation.

State Premier David Bartlett said the grants would help the mums and dads who can’t get to the shops, elderly people stuck in their homes and students in remote areas who need transport.
“We want people to be able to stay living in the communities where they have their friends and networks but still have access to the services that they need,” he said while handing over a vehicle to the Fingal Valley Neighbourhood House, one of the 12 successful applicants of the Cars for Communities Grant Program.
A total of $500,000 has been committed to 12 communities, of which the Fingal Valley is one, in the first round of grants under the scheme. In total 47 applicants were received by the State Government.
Other successful applicants include Clarendon Vale Neighbourhood Centre, the Salvation Army and Brighton Council.
“People can feel isolated even in their own homes,” Bartlett said. “They can feel trapped because it is difficult for them to travel to a doctor or a chemist, or down to the shops to get Christmas presents for the grandchildren.
“Something as simple as providing a community vehicle can make a huge difference."

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