Grafton will be among the first recipients of the NSW Government’s Community Safety Grants Fund thanks to a significant investment in a basketball program that diverts young people away from crime and anti-social behaviour.
Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis was joined by NSW Attorney General Gabrielle Upton last week to announce that Midnight Basketball Australia has been awarded $244,500 to run a program in four locations including Grafton over the next 12 months.
“Sport is a terrific way to engage with young people and the Midnight Basketball phenomenon has been going strong for some time and has run over 200 tournaments nationally,” Mr Gulaptis said.
“I’ve attended the Midnight Basketball final in Grafton earlier this year and was truly inspired by the commitment and dedication of a group of very dedicated volunteers.
“It’s a terrific program that give kids something positive to do with their time in a safe environment, and I’m absolutely thrilled that Grafton Midnight Basketball is being supported by the NSW Government,” he said.
Ms Upton said the NSW Government is investing in strong evidence-based projects to promote safety in communities, to provide opportunities for young people to engage in positive activities and to steer at-risk people away from a path of crime.
“Crime has a significant social and economic cost for our community, so supporting projects that reduce anti-social behaviour and offending is a good investment,” Ms Upton said.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Justice and Police Troy Grant said the NSW Government’s Community Safety Fund will deliver $10 million in grants over four years.
“The NSW Government is proud to support local organisations to develop new and targeted projects to help people feel safe and proud of their community and together we can make a difference to reduce crime and fear of crime,” Mr Grant said.
Midnight Basketball is one of 16 community projects designed to reduce criminal and anti-social behaviour across the state that have been awarded part of the $2.5 million in funding in round one.
Midnight Basketball Grafton Committee Chair, Michele Rumph was ecstatic to hear the news on behalf of the hardworking local volunteer committee.