Member for Barker Tony Pasin said two community groups in the South East are being supported by a new Morrison Government Powering Communities Program to lower energy costs, support local jobs and help reduce global emissions.

Mr Pasin said energy bills are often one of the biggest overheads for not-for-profit organisations.

“By helping to reduce power bills, the grants will ease the financial pressure organisations face so they can better focus on meeting the needs of our local community,” Mr Pasin said.

“I recognise the great work that many community groups across Barker do and know that many have done it tough during COVID19. This program will help them to do what they do best, which is serve and support the community,” Mr Pasin said.

Naracoorte Masonic Centre received a grant of $5,284 to install a 3kw solar system.

“The installation of the solar system will assist Naracoorte Masonic Centre to reduce their energy costs. This will enable Naracoorte Masonic Centre to continue to make donations to local charities which they support now and hope to continue into the future.” Mr Pasin said.

Naracoorte Masonic Centre Treasurer Barry Dunn said this grant will enable the Naracoorte Masonic Centre, known as the Naracoorte Lodge, to increase their donations to any charity or organisation in need, by saving electricity costs running the Lodge.

“We are involved with the Freemasons Foundation of South Australia who donate dollar for dollar as well as the Naracoorte Community Network who help anyone or any organisation in need.” Mr Dunn said.

Allendale East Public Hall Committee received a grant of $5,284 to complete an energy upgrade project.

“The Allendale East Public Hall will be replacing the existing lighting in the main Hall area, kitchen, toilet areas, storeroom, cloak room and outside lighting and replace with more energy efficient LEDs.  They will also replace all existing high energy consuming wall heaters in the main Hall area and kitchen/catering area, with more energy efficient wall heating.” Mr Pasin said.

“To have more energy efficient heating and lighting will greatly reduce their power usage, therefore reduce operating costs significantly.” Mr Pasin said.

Allendale East Public Hall President Richard Ferguson said “Without grants like this our public hall would struggle to stay alive for our small regional community.”

“Our committee works hard to fundraise all year round and this boost will enable us to upgrade lighting and reduce our energy costs.”

“The hall represents generations of families coming together to celebrate and share the good and bad times of rural life. We value having our hall and wish to keep it going for this and future generations.’ Richard Ferguson said.