Smelter has money to give away, but no-one wants it

Treasurer of the Boyne Smelter Employees Community Benefit Association, Jonathan Higley, wants to give Gladstone groups money.
Treasurer of the Boyne Smelter Employees Community Benefit Association, Jonathan Higley, wants to give Gladstone groups money. Mike Richards Campbell Gellie

THE workers at Boyne Smelters are trying hard to give $20,000 away - but nobody seems to want it.

Applications to the fund, set up by the Boyne Smelters Employees Community Benefit Association, have well and truly dried up.

The group handed out 34 cheques in 2009-10, that dropped to 14 in 2010-11 and only five last year.

It has treasurer Jonathon Higley concerned, and surprised, but he said he thought it might simply be a lack of awareness the fund even existed.

"With the way the region has been changing over the years, those that were aware of the fund have either moved away or are no longer involved with those community groups."

Last week the Boyne Smelters Employees Community Benefit Association was pleased to hand $5000 to Gladstone 1st Boys' Brigade.

The Boys' Brigade has been running in Gladstone for nearly 15 years and its focus is on turning boys into men, with a Christian foundation.

It is one of the few groups that has applied for a grant.

At a thank you night, Daniel Ruhl, 13, from the Boys' Brigade said it would help his group raise money for a camp later in the year.

"Camps can be expensive so we need to raise as much money as we can," he said.

He said he enjoyed the Boys Brigade because he could play rough.

"Because we don't have any games we can play full-on games like wrestling," he said. "They teach us lots of things about becoming men and making the right decisions."

Association treasurer Jonathan Higley was pleased to get that request.

"We have some guidelines to go by and they suited them perfectly. We get around $35,000 a year to put into the community," he said.

"Having $20,000 sitting in the bank is against the point of what we are doing. I would prefer to have none."

The assocation has been raising and donating money to clubs, charities and organisations since 1992. Since 2001, $308,834 has been handed out.

Written applications to Boyne Smelters Employee's Community Benefits Fund, PO Box 524, Gladstone 4680.

Topics:  grants

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