Cutting Energy Costs for Accommodation Providers in the South West

Small and medium accommodation providers across the South West are receiving support from the Federal Government to cut their energy costs so they can invest in their business, employ more local people, and get ahead.

Through the $10.2 million Hotel Energy Uplift Program, three accommodation providers in the region have received grants.
• The Comfort Inn Busselton River Resort will be upgrading their air conditioners and lighting in the motel rooms.
• The Donnybrook Motel Motor Lodge will be conducting an energy audit and installation of energy monitoring systems.
• The Quality Hotel Lighthouse in Bunbury will be replacing and installing energy efficient lighting.

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said
“Over 85 per cent of the grants awarded will go to regional or remote Australia, providing a significant boost to our regions.”

Federal Member for Forrest, Nola Marino said the grants will help fund projects that will provide genuine and lasting energy savings and reduce operating costs for local accommodation providers.

“These grants will help support local jobs for electricians, carpenters, engineers, and plumbers” Ms Marino said.

This program was announced in the 2020-21 Budget and is part of the Government’s $1.9 billion investment in new energy technologies which will create new jobs now and into the future, reduce emissions and ensure all Australians have access to reliable and affordable energy.

Hotels, motels and serviced apartments with up to 99 rooms were eligible to receive grants under the program to help lower their energy bills by upgrading to more energy efficient air-conditioning, refrigeration and equipment, improving the building through double glazing and insulation, carrying out energy audits or installing energy monitoring equipment.

More information on the program can be found here

Improved Digital Connectivity for Carbunup River

Improved digital connectivity for Carbunup River

People living near Carbunup River, south of Busselton can now look forward to new and improved telecommunications services thanks to the Government’s Regional Connectivity Program (the RCP).

Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, Paul Fletcher, Regional Communications Minister, Mark Coulton and Nola Marino MP Member for Forrest today announced Carbunup River will benefit from new and improved digital connectivity under the program.

“Residents and businesses in this local area will enjoy the benefits and opportunities that improved digital connectivity brings,” Ms Marino said.

“The project will upgrade the capacity of the existing mobile base station at Carbunup River, near Busselton. The upgrade will provide improved mobile connectivity to support the digital needs of residents and local small businesses, including tourist retreats, retail, horse boarding and riding facilities and vineyards. Improved connectivity will also provide increased public safety coverage along the Bussell Highway and in a high-risk bushfire region.

“The community has long been campaigning for better connectivity in this area, and as the local member and Assistant Minister for Regional Development it’s great to be able to deliver.

“These projects will provide people in regional Australia access to improved broadband services and data delivering fast, affordable and reliable connectivity. This will help keep our businesses connected, our families stay in touch and mean we can better access telehealth and online services.”

Federal Regional Communications Minister Mark Coulton said the Government was listening to the needs of regional communities and businesses and was pleased to see the RCP being used to support the design and delivery place-based solutions which solved rural connectivity issues.

“This next tranche of projects under the Regional Connectivity Program will make a difference on the ground for local communities,” Minister Coulton said.

The Federal Government is contributing a total of $117.4 million (GST inclusive) to the first round of the RCP, generating total new investment of more than $232 million (GST inclusive) through co-contributions from funding recipients, state and territory governments and other third parties, such as local governments, regional businesses and community development organisations.

In addition, the Government has made further funding of $105.8 million available for a second round of the program and will call for applications later this year, following consultation of program guidelines.

The delivery of successful projects under the Program will begin shortly with most projects to be completed by June 2022.
More information about the RCP is available at:

Safer Community Grants now open


The Governments Safer Communities Grant Funding is continuing to provide funding with 2 new streams announced. The Early Intervention Grant is now open, and the Security Infrastructure Grant opens on 15 June 2021.

Member for Forrest Nola Marino said community safety is very important for people throughout the South West.

“We’ll continue to work closely with local councils and local community organisations to identify projects that may be supported through the Safer Communities program,” Ms Marino said.

“The early intervention funding stream is designed to provide support for at risk young people and help them build positive relationships, skills and engage with their local community.

In the Security Infrastructure Funding, local councils and community organisations can apply for funding for improved security initiatives such as CCTV, bollards, lighting, and crime prevention.

The Safer Communities Fund is a long-standing program that has invested more than $215 million since 2016 and provided over 600 grants directly to local communities.

Grant opportunity guidelines will be available on the opening dates at Guidelines will include information about how to apply, eligibility and assessment criteria.

There are 2 streams available in this grant round.
1. The early intervention grant opportunity is now open and closes 22 July 2021.
Information is available at or call 13 28 46. Organisations can apply for funding ranging from $200,000 to $1.5 million.
2. The security infrastructure grant opportunity opens on 15 June 2021 and closes 5 August 2021. Information will be available after 15 June at or call 13 28 46.

The Government has announced $35 million (including program administration costs) from 2020-21 to 2023-24 to fund round six of the Safer Communities Fund in Budget 2020-21.

Health & Wellbeing Boost for South West Women

Women in the South West will benefit from increased funding for cervical and breast cancer, endometriosis and reproductive health in the 2021-22 Federal Budget.

Federal Member for Forrest and Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories,
the Hon Nola Marino MP welcomed the funding boost, saying it will improve long term
health outcomes for women and girls, both locally and across Australia.

“This includes funding for Breast Cancer Network Australia to operate its helpline, rural and regional information forums and extend its consumer representative training program.”

“Improvements to cervical and breast cancer screening programs are included in the funding, as well as support for people with eating disorders and their families.”

“To help expectant parents, we are investing to reduce pre-term birth rates through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme [PBS] listing of Oripro® (progesterone) to prevent
premature labour and funding for the Australian Preterm Birth Prevention Alliance.”

“The mental health and wellbeing of new and expectant parents is supported, with funding for the Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia [PANDA] helpline, by working to deliver universal perinatal mental health screening, and through improved data collection.”

“There is an extension of funding for Jean Hailes for Women’s Health and the Pelvic Pain Foundation of Australia for the Periods, Pain and Endometriosis Program (PPEP-Talk).

Ms Marino is a passionate Ambassador for Endometriosis Australia and has been an active advocate for women’s support and educational programs here in the South West.

“Each of these investments will have a profound impact for those affected.”
The Budget includes $353.9 million over the next four years to support women’s health.
The Government’s National Women’s Health Strategy 2020–2030 has five priority areas;
maternal, sexual and reproductive health, healthy ageing, chronic conditions and preventive
health, mental health and the health impacts of violence against women and girls – core issues affecting the lives and livelihoods of women and girls.

New Funding for Clothing & Textile Waste

Clothing & Textile Waste A Priority

Did you know 23kgs of clothing per person goes into landfill each year? New seed funding is available now to create a new recovery and recycling scheme.