THE Port of Townsville is inviting not-for-profits, community groups and schools to apply for its second annual Community Fund, with a share in $50,000 up for grabs for eligible projects.

The Community Fund seeks to support a variety of local initiatives that align with the port’s strategic vision to create improved sustainability in four key areas: planet, community, people and prosperity.

Port of Townsville CEO Ranee Crosby said the fund was open to a broad range of projects to reflect North Queensland’s diverse community.

“While our port is based in Townsville, we are mindful that our footprint and the success of our operations extends far beyond the local government area to include Hinchinbrook, the Burdekin, Charters Towers and the North West,” Ms Crosby said.

“We invite groups from all of these communities to apply for the Community Fund if they have a project that could benefit from in-kind or monetary support.”

Minister for resources and member for Townsville Scott Stewart said it was great to have the Port of Townsville supporting community groups.

“Townsville was built on the back of the port so it’s great to have the organisation giving back to the community through this fund,” Mr Stewart said.

“Community groups are so important for regional areas and this fund will help them with some fantastic projects.”

Last year’s inaugural Community Fund saw 17 projects receive the port’s backing including a mix of sports, arts, environmental and social projects. Groups with eco-conscious projects featured prominently among the recipients including Coastal Dry Tropics Landcare receiving funding for a new shade house, an upgrade to NQ Football’s solar system, and replacing Townsville Sailing Club’s ageing beach mats with 100% recycled Mobi Mats.

Ocean-related projects also featured high on the agenda. Townsville’s volunteer Coast Guard was among the 2021 recipients, receiving funding and in-kind support to set-up a computer, laptops and tablets to support their local rescue efforts.

Townsville Volunteer Coast Guard Deputy Flotilla Commander Dave Finlay said the Community Fund’s assistance enabled the Townsville Coast Guard to ensure continuity of search, aid and rescue services for approximately 25,000 recreational vessels registered across Townsville.

“With advancing technology and aging hardware our servers, computers and other IT assets were in serious need of upgrade,” Deputy Flotilla Commander Finlay said.

“Support through the port’s Community Fund allowed us to replace our aging hardware before any major malfunctions, meaning our 120 volunteers were able to continue providing undisrupted assistance to the local boating community.”

Applications to the Port of Townsville’s 2022 Community Fund will be open until 10 April 2022.