Help Riding for the Disabled by voting

THE simple act of taking a minute to vote online may help Riding for the Disabled stay in the running for a cash grant to improve its facilities at Rainbow Flat.

Rather than relying on town water, the group wants to install water tanks and pipes to capture rainwater and distribute it to horse troughs, and also use it to irrigate the surface of its covered arena to help overcome dust problems.

RDA has applied for support from the Philmac Project, a national initiative providing cash grants of up to $5,000 for water-related projects that benefit regional Australian communities, particularly schools and sports associations.

Importantly, applicants need the support of individual votes via Facebook before applications and voting close on December 20.

Only submissions that attract the most votes on the Philmac Project Facebook page will make it onto a short list for final judging by a special panel that includes Irrigation Australia chief executive Duane Findley and AgChatOz co-founder Sam Livingstone.

The Philmac Project is an initiative of leading Australian manufacturer Philmac, which has been designing, manufacturing and distributing fittings and valves for polyethylene pipes for more than 80 years.

It was set up by the company last year to give something back to regional Australian communities who have stood by the business, enabling Philmac to keep its manufacturing operation in Australia.

To vote go to www.facebook.com/PhilmacAustralia and click on the 'Enter now' button, on the top right of the screen, which leads to summaries of all the entries. Use the search tool to find individual entries. Voting can also be done via a mobile device.

For more information go to www.philmacproject.com.au

Entries and voting closes at midnight on Friday, December 20.

"We know it can be difficult for community groups to source funding even for small projects these days, and sometimes all they need is a little bit of cash to get them started," says Philmac general manager, group marketing, Jason Mitchell.

"So we set up the Philmac Project to say thank you, and as an expression of our ongoing commitment to rural Australia and keeping communities connected.

"We are extremely pleased with the number of applications so far, and the quality and diversity of the projects being proposed. I think our judges are in for quite a challenge," Mr Mitchell says.

Applications are still being accepted from groups interested in applying for a grant.

To qualify for the initiative a project must be water related, such as upgrading or installing watering or irrigation systems, plumbing installations or water capture facilities.

The project must be located in a regional area, and the work has to be completed within 12 months of the start date.

"The panel's focus will be making sure the money goes to a project that will make a genuine difference to the local community, and has the potential to reduce water use, improve water quality or benefit the environment in some way," Mr Mitchell says.

To vote go to www.facebook.com/PhilmacAustralia and click on the 'Enter now' button, on the top right of the screen, which leads to summaries of all the entries. Use the search tool to find individual entries. Voting can also be done via a mobile device.

For more information go to www.philmacproject.com.au

Entries and voting closes at midnight on Friday, December 20.

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