Canberra Comment column with Bert van Manen

Federal MP: Bert van Manen, member for Forde.
Federal MP: Bert van Manen, member for Forde.

Christmas has come early for two of our great local sporting clubs who have received thousands of dollars in federal government grants.

I met with the Park Ridge Panthers Soccer Club last week to deliver $15,000 towards the cost of installing a new solar electricity system.

The grant was provided as part of the Federal Government’s Solar Communities Program – which provides funding for community groups to assist with lowering both their emissions and electricity costs.

All in all the program, one of the government’s 2016 election commitments, will provide $5 million to selected regions across Australia.

It was also my privilege to get in contact with the Park Ridge JAFC to confirm its successful application in the Federal Government’s Stronger Communities Programme.

The club has received $10000 towards the cost of a building conversion as well as new storage cages.

The building conversion will boost the club’s ability to sell refreshments and set aside ample space for community gatherings at the venue.

I want to encourage other local community groups to apply for round two of the Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF) – which closes on December 19.

The fund is designed to support job creation and economic growth in rural and regional Australia.

More information about the fund is available by searching BBRF at

The mapping tool on the website displays which areas are eligible to apply.

For more information or to get in touch with me for assistance with applying phone by office on (07) 3807 6340 or email me at

Bert van Manen MP, Federal Member for Forde