Inland Rail supporting Forbes and Milvale community groups

Six community groups in Forbes and one other in Milvale have been given a helping hand over the past year through the Inland Rail Sponsorships and Donations Program and as the pandemic restrictions lift the spoils are finally being enjoyed.

Man sitting on park bench in Milvale Park

Four sporting groups based in Forbes received grants used to upgrade programs, facilities and equipment, including the Forbes Dragon Boat Club. Grants Officer Mary Laksito said improving safety was the club’s reason to apply for a grant. The 47 members train on Lake Forbes three times a week in the warmer months and Sunday morning in winter.

“With more elderly members in the group it’s important to have a defibrillator within easy access so we’re really pleased to have received the grant from Inland Rail,” Ms Laksito said.

The Forbes District Soccer Club has applied its grant to fund a series of programs of excellence that support local community groups and schools including a Covid-disrupted 2021 season and 2022 season, coaching certification for high school teachers and students, and a weekly skills and development training program.

Other successful recipients included the Forbes Netball Association, which upgraded its canteen facilities and the Forbes Swampies Junior AFL Club, which purchased a new scoreboard and goal post pads in time for the 2022 footy season.

The Forbes Riverside Community Garden and Forbes Art Society also received donations. The Art Society’s tourism, marketing and promotions manager Emily Wilson said the grant had enabled the purchase of an integrated Point of Sale (POS) system for the new gallery currently under construction at 110 Lachlan Street.

“In our previous gallery space staff were using a paper-based sales system and this was a laborious and unreliable system. Having invested in a POS hardware system, staff can now process gallery transactions in a timely and efficient manner, enhancing the customer service experience,” Ms Wilson said.

“Not only has Inland Rail supported our community in the short-term through the Community Sponsorships and Donation program, it will also generate long-term economic benefits through improved supply chain connectively for our farming community,” she added.

Further south on the Stockinbingal to Parkes alignment the Milvale Progress Association received funding for a new picnic bench at the town’s rest stop. After disruptions with Covid, the equipment was installed in December.

“Our association has limited resources, so the Inland Rail grant was a good addition,” said President John Booker. “Some local residents have made some artistic creations out of scrap metal to make the area interesting and the covered seating is well used.”

If you have an activity, event or project that will benefit your local community and you represent a community group or organisation that is a not-for-profit or local government body, we welcome your application. The next round closes on 31 July. Find out more about how to apply for support on our Sponsorships and Donations page.

IMAGE: (Above) Milvale Progress Association’s new park bench and (below) Forbes Art Society’s Point of Sale technology upgrade

Smiling woman standing in front of "Forbes Arts Society" banner with new point-of-sale equipment on display