Southern Mallee community initiatives enhanced through 2020 community grants

YEE-HAW: Almost $10,000 will help improve bike track facilities and provide a coaching service for junior riders at the Parilla Well Dirt Bike Track near Pinnaroo. Photo: Pinnaroo and Districts Dirt Bike Club
YEE-HAW: Almost $10,000 will help improve bike track facilities and provide a coaching service for junior riders at the Parilla Well Dirt Bike Track near Pinnaroo. Photo: Pinnaroo and Districts Dirt Bike Club

Improved bike track facilities and the powering of a bowling club with solar are two of a collection of Southern Mallee projects to recently receive funds through the council's latest community grants initiative.

A stoked Nick Westphalen says a grant of almost $10,000 helps to further revive a disused dirt motorbike track in his home patch in the Mallee.

Furthermore, the new president of Pinnaroo and Districts Dirt Bike Club says the donation will provide a crucial coaching service for junior riders at the Parilla Well Dirt Bike Track

"The club has only come out of a 20-year recess in the middle of this year to try and save the dirt bike track," he explained.

The crown land, owned by the council, was under threat of being flatten due to some prior illegal activity on the site.

However, Mr Westphalen said with support from locals, past dirt users and new, it has been rekindled with riders managing to use the track from June this year.

Financial support was further secured by generous locals which helped with operating costs, including insurance.

"We decided we needed to get this track up and running for the community and our children," Mr Westphalen said.

"It's for anyone with a motorbike, a helmet, to come and ride as it's set up in a safe and controlled environment."

The club has only come out of a 20-year recess in the middle of this year to try and save the dirt bike track.

Pinnaroo and Districts Dirt Bike Club president Nick Westphalen

Ironically, Mr Westphalen said the opportunity arose when netball and football games were cancelled after falling victim to coronavirus measures.

"So that was really great," he said.

Its return in winter meant between 35-40 riders out enjoying the track, with about 80 people in total coming through the gates.

"We were also able to maintain the required social distancing and work with the restrictions in place and it gave the kids something to do," he added.

From next year the season is expected to return on Sundays during winter to avoid clashing with other winter sports in the region.

REVIVED: The dirt bike club returns. Photo: Pinnaroo and Districts Dirt Bike Club

REVIVED: The dirt bike club returns. Photo: Pinnaroo and Districts Dirt Bike Club

Meanwhile, Southern Mallee Council Mayor Jeff Nickolls said all the worthy projects to recently receive funds would importantly deliver benefits for many people in the area.

"Our community organisations do so much good work for our district providing recreation opportunities, enhancing local facilities and creating places of connection," he said.

Projects to gain funds:

  • Pinnaroo and Districts Dirt Bike Club - $9891 to improve bike track facilities and provide a coaching service for junior riders at the Parilla Well Dirt Bike Track
  • Parilla Bowling Club - $6000 to install a 6.6kW solar panel installation at the Parilla Bowling Club
  • Lameroo Bowling Club - grant of $8850 for a roller
  • St John Lutheran Church Lameroo - grant of $7000 for replacement of the toilet block
  • Lameroo Cricket Club (Sports Club) - grant of $4000 for a bowling machine, including balls
  • Pinnaroo Bowling Club - grant of $1376.51 to upgrade bowling green ends
  • Border Model Flyers - grant of $3674 for a shipping container for clubrooms

Funds were approved during the council's November meeting with the council providing community grants annually as part of its ongoing commitment to, and support for, community groups.

Eligible organisations had the opportunity to apply for funds between $750 and $20,000.

More details can be found on council's website by visiting www.southernmallee.sa.gov.au.