Out of the FIFTEEN groups from across Junee Shire that were nominated for Essential Energy’s 2023 Community Choices program, only TWO received funding — $3,500 for Iron Dog Rescue (based in Bethungra) and $1,250 for Gasworks Motorsport (based in Illabo).
Congratulations to both groups! And this is the second time Gasworks Motorsport have received funding (in 2021, they received $600 in funding through the Community Choices Program!
To see a list of all the other organisations from across Junee Shire that nominated, please click here.
Our apologies to Iron Dog Rescue… at the time of promoting the voting process for Community Choices, Junee Community Team didn’t realise Iron Dog Rescue was actually based within Junee Shire, so they weren’t included in our promotional material where we encouraged Junee residents to vote regularly for local community groups. Our most humble apologies for this over site… but also a huge congratulations and well done for coming second in Zone 8!!!
In Zone 8 (where the bulk of Junee Shire resides) the Champions were:
- Coolamon & District History Group ($5,000)
- Iron Dog Rescue ($3,500)
- Coolamon Preschool Association Inc ($2,750)
- Gasworks Motorsport Inc (Illabo Motorsport Park) ($1,250)
In Zone 4 (which incorporates some of the South-Western corner of Junee Shire) the Champions were:
- Ganmain Historical Society Museum ($5,000)
- CWA of NSW Galore Branch ($3,500)
- Saturday Morning Tenpin Bowling League (Disability League) ($2,750)
- Marrar Public School P&C ($1,250)
For the full list of all the Community Choices Champions from across all twenty Essential Energy Zones for 2023 click below:
What did you think about the Community Choices program?
Share your feedback directly with Essential Energy on the Community Choices program for 2023 by completing their survey linked below. It should only take about 3 minutes to complete and will assist Essential Energy’s planning for the 2024 Community Choices program.
While we are extremely pleased that Essential Energy offer their Community Choices program and a number of not-for-profit community organisations and sporting clubs from across Junee Shire have benefited greatly from the program over the last few years, there is always room for improvements… so please take the time to complete the survey to help improve future rounds.
Some feedback we heard from nominees and voters, which we have already shared with Essential Energy, include:
- Remove the “Vote Hourly” option
It is an extreme burden on voters and favours larger organisations that can call upon their bigger membership base! We heard many groups had complaints from their members re the constant reminders to vote hourly!
- Make it “Vote Once a Day”
While this still favours larger groups, it’s not so burdensome on voters. Most people will usually vote once a day to support a good cause
- Offer Preference Voting, requiring people to only vote once
This is our preferred solution to replacing “hourly voting” — the suggestion is to offer voters say Twenty Points that they can allocate to which ever group(s) they want. eg they may allocate ALL 20 votes to one single group, or they may decide to allocate 10 votes to their favourite cause and then 2 votes each to three other groups they like, and then 1 vote each to four other local groups.
If this was implemented, people would only need to vote ONCE but could still vote for multiple groups. Also, it would be nice if voters were allocated points to vote in EACH Zone eg 20 votes per zone
- When Nominating, ask for the LGA (Local Government Area) the organisation is based in
This way it can easy to find ALL the groups in your local community — eg so rather than having to search individually for Junee, Illabo, Bethungra, and Yathella we could just search for Junee Shire
- Make it clearer how organisations will use any funding they receive
Depending on the browser voters were using and how they selected the organisation they were voting for, many people never saw what project(s) the nominated organisations were planning own utilising any funding for, making it difficult to decide if they should be supported or not
- Improve the way to identify voters
Many people tried using their mobile phones to vote, only to get an error “This IP has already voted” — We believe this is caused by the way mobile carriers (and some NBN providers) now offer IP addresses, a process known as “Carrier-Grade NAT“. This is a complex mechanism but effectively multiple services share one address — so it appears “you” have already voted, even if “you personally” had not!
- Show Vote Totals during the Voting Process
This will enable nominated groups to see if they need to encourage their members (and family, friends, associates etc) to keep voting for them to stay in the race
- Recommend similar organisations in other zones
Often there were many like minded or associated organisations nominated in other zones, thus were NOT competing against your own favourite group(s), that voters may have voted for if they knew about them eg: there were a number of Scout Groups, or CWAs that many groups may have voted for if they’d known about them
Feel free to include any, or all, of the above suggestions, when completing the survey.
Past Successes with Community Choices for Junee organisations
In the last three rounds of the Community Choices program, not for profit community organisations and sporting clubs from within Junee Shire have faired extremely well with high voting responses, which has subsequently translated in to local projects been successfully funded.
Starting in 2020, Junee Junior Netball Association, not only placed second in our local Zone, but also second over all in the entire network!!! where they received $2,000 funding!
In 2021, three groups from across Junee Shire received funding — Junee Junior Netball Association received $2,500; Riverina Working Equitation received $1,500 in funding; and Gasworks Motorsport received $600!
Last year, 2022, saw another three community organisations across two zones successfully obtain funding — In Zone 8, Junee Jokers Bowling Club received $2,000 and Cooinda Court Aged Care obtained $500. In Zone 4, which also saw organisations in Coolamon and Wagga Wagga vying for votes, Junee Motor Club (who currently manage Yathella Hall) received $300 in funding!