Community Enhancement Fund

Applications are currently CLOSED for the latest round of grants from Biala Wind Farm Community Fund.

Upper Lachlan Shire Council will announce the opening of the 2024 Funding Round later in the year.

Successful applicants for the 2023 Funding Round were recently notified, and included:

  • Upper Lachlan Landcare Inc. – Community Film Screening – $3,432.00
  • Gunning District Landcare – Planting the Next Generation of Paddock Trees – $18,477.38
  • Crookwell Senior Citizens Club – Seniors Solar Sun Sense – $31,232.00
  • Crookwell Memorial Hall S355 Committee – Solar Panels on the Roof of Crookwell Memorial Hall – $52,028.00
  • Upper Lachlan Landcare Inc. – Supporting Grazing Practices to Grow Local Resilience – $44,748.00 (local strategic project grant over three years)

The Biala Wind Farm Community Fund aims to support initiatives and projects proposed by members of the community that benefit the local community. Applications are accepted from members of the community through registered or incorporated not for profit organisations contributing to neighbouring communities within 5kms of the wind farm or, if no suitable community purpose is available with 5kms, then within 20km of a turbine on the Biala Wind Farm.

For the first three years of operation, community projects within a 5km radius of Biala Wind Farm were given priority for the Community Fund. For a map showing the 5km and 20km distances around the wind farm, please click here.

The amount of funding available each year is set out in the wind farm Development Approval, as issued by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment. Biala Wind Farm will contribute $2,500 per turbine towards the fund every year. This contribution will increase with inflation (i.e. CPI adjusted) each year.

Community Research Project

Biala Wind Farm recently conducted an online survey to research what the community in and around Grabben Gullen believe could be developed to enhance village life and improve community facilities.

The survey was an opportunity for local residents to do some creative thinking ahead of the next round of grant funding.

The Biala Wind Farm Community Fund aims to support initiatives that benefit the local community through projects and initiatives that contribute to neighbouring communities within 20km of a wind turbine on the Biala Wind Farm. For the first three years of operation (2021-2023), community projects within a 5km radius of Biala Wind Farm were given priority.

Almost 78% of respondents ranked digital connectivity as a significant issue, with the top four priorities, in order of importance, ranked as follows:

  1. Digital connectivity
  2.  General community facilities
  3.  Enhanced liveability
  4. Tourism or travel initiatives/infrastructure

Several of the suggestions put forward in the open-ended responses indicate there is scope for local groups to apply to the Community Fund for projects that would be widely welcomed by the residents, such as a children’s playground and beautifying the streetscapes. The need for upgraded community facilities in the town is also clear.

Some suggestions, which sit outside the parameters of the Community Fund, included upgrading and lighting the village roads, which would require Council support. It is hoped the survey will encourage community groups to apply for projects that will be widely supported and improve the liveability of the township.

2022 Funding Round

The following projects were funded:

  • Gunning District Landcare – $19,982.18 for their Paddock to Tree Project
  • Upper Lachlan Landcare Inc – $13,035.00 to Produce a Local Native Planting Guide for Upper Lachlan

2021 Funding Round

An application endorsed by the Grabben Gullen Hall Committee, Grabben Gullen Progress Association and the Grabben Gullen Rural Fire Brigade was approved in the first round of funding. Improvements at the hall included:

  • A new water tank plus fast fill standpipe to aid firefighting efforts
  • Relocated entry/exit point for vehicles to improve road safety
  • New storage facility to free up hall space


How the fund works


Who will administer the Community Enhancement Fund?

A Community Enhancement Fund committee has been established to administer the Fund. The committee is coordinated by Upper Lachlan Shire Council under its Section 355 provisions. The committee is responsible for assessing applications and making recommendations on which should be supported. These recommendations are passed to Upper Lachlan Council’s elected councillors for the final decision. Biala Wind Farm has one member on this committee, alongside two representatives of Upper Lachlan Shire Council and two members of the community.


Who can apply to the Community Enhancement Fund?

Members of the community through incorporated or registered not for profit organisations.


When will applications open?

Applications for this year’s Funding Round will open around August 2024, and will be announced by Council when open. Applications will be assessed annually.

Council is responsible for advertising the opening of the fund each year.


How do I find out more about the Community Enhancement Fund?

We are always happy to provide more information where we can on the Community Enhancement Fund. However, for some questions it may be necessary to contact Upper Lachlan Shire Council, which operates the fund. Please feel free to contact us at [email protected] and we will be happy to provide more information.