Crown Reserves Funding Team
The NSW Government has allocated more than $79 million from the Crown Reserves Improvement Fund (CRIF) program over the past five years.
The government allocates an average of $17 million across NSW each year from the fund, which has been self-sustaining since 1998. Income is generated from Crown reserve levies, licences and loan repayments.
The program’s areas of focus are:
- local parks and reserves
- caravan parks
- state parks
- pests and weeds
- tracks and trails
- bushfire controls.
The Crown Reserves Funding Team coordinates the annual CRIF program, which aims to develop, maintain and protect more than 34,000 public reserves in NSW.
Funding programs coordinator Anthony Mitchell works with three other staff in Newcastle. Together they process around 800 funding applications each year.
These range from grants for painting or repairing fences, building accessible toilets and kitchens, and weed and feral pest control, right through to multimillion-dollar funding and loans for major infrastructure upgrades.
Anthony says the positive impact these projects have on local communities is enormous.
'Crown reserves are often the lifeblood of the local community. They’re a focal point for residents of villages and towns, from the coast to the outback, to meet and hold social gatherings,' he explains.
'The trickle-down effect of the funding program flows throughout communities, creating employment opportunities for local contractors and builders.'
Anthony and his team enjoy what they do because they see the positive impact this funding program has on communities throughout the state.
'We get to talk with lots of different people and see first-hand all the great work that’s happening in NSW,' he says.
'The department couldn’t maintain these vast Crown assets for the public without the help and guidance of the thousands of volunteers who manage them on our behalf.'
Applications for the annual funding round open from February to March each year. Find out further information about the CRIF program.
Anthony’s top three tips for submitting a funding application:
- prepare early and make sure you have enough time to get quotes from suppliers
- make sure you answer all the questions and meet the eligibility criteria
- if you’re proposing a significant upgrade, consider doing a condition assessment as an initial phase to prioritise the works.