Local News

It’s been a record hot start to the year but kindy kids, sports and volunteer organisations are playing it cool thanks to federal government funding.

Community grants totalling $35,000 have warmed the hearts of community groups installing air-conditioning units to beat the extreme heat.

Previously, children at The Range Community Kindergarten Association and members of the Mapleton Bowls Club had to swelter through stifling summers and shiver through cold winters.

Their new aircons couldn’t come at a better time, with the weather bureau confirming January and February were the hottest months on record in southeast Australia, with three distinct heatwaves and temperatures continuously above average in between. (*)

Member for Fairfax Ted O’Brien said the practical funding was improving people’s everyday lives.

“We can carve out millions of dollars for the Bruce Highway but sometimes it’s the little grants that make the biggest difference,” said Mr O’Brien.

“After one of the hottest summers ever, equipping kindies and community groups with air-con systems is a no brainer.”

Children at The Range Community Kindergarten Association in Mapleton now have split-system air conditioning for the first time in their main playroom, the enclosed veranda and office.

“It’s been fantastic having full air conditioning on these hot days; it keeps everybody’s tempers in a good place,” said kindy director Margaret Lamb.

“We were so happy so get the air conditioning because it was on our wish list but it kept getting pushed down because of other priorities we had to spend money on.”

Mapleton Bowls Club chairman Robert Shoyer said members were thrilled that their clubroom – which is used by seven community groups such as quilters and craftmakers – had three new systems.

“They’re really enjoying it greatly. We had our AGM on Sunday and everyone kept commenting,” said Mr Shoyer.

“I doubt we would have been able to put air con in without the government grant.”

The $35,000 was shared between five community groups in total:
* Bli Bli Community Association ($5000 to air condition the Old Church Hall)
* Eumundi District Community Association ($7500 for the Eumundi Scout Hall)
* Kureelpa Community Hall ($5000)
* The Range Community Kindergarten Association ($7500)
* Mapleton Bowls Club ($10,000).

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