What is the spirit of the program?

    We believe the spirit of the program can be explained as:

    ‘Community led projects or programs that help to shape the physical, social and cultural development of neighbourhoods or the broader community, and which promote the capacity of local communities to develop, implement and sustain solutions’

    The aim is to build resilience, capacity and co-operation in our community and provide greater community ownership over part of the Council budget.

    What is the application criteria?

    The funding criteria or principles of the YOU CHOOSE program are quite simple. As long as you are a resident/ratepayer within the City of Busselton and your project is safe, legal and in the spirit of the program then it will be put up for voting.

    How can I get involved?

    Get together with your neighbours, community group or other businesses in your area and brainstorm ideas for local projects. You may already have ideas but couldn’t previously find a funding source.

    How do I submit an application?

    You will need to complete an online application. Don’t worry, it’s very easy and there is an example application to give you some guidance.

    Basically we ask for a brief description of the project, a simple budget and an image that captures your idea. The description is your sales ‘pitch’ and is what people will see when they vote so it’s important to get it right.

    I love the idea but can’t think of what to apply for?

    Ask yourself what would make my neighbourhood better?

    • Perhaps a new or improved community garden as an idea to get people more active and involved;
    • Or would a mural or local art piece help with the enjoyment of your area, perhaps with the addition of some seating;
    • What about a local market for kids, to share, swap or buy and in the process learn some business skills;
    • Maybe you have a great idea for a new program that will provide local support to those that need it in your area or the broader community.

    Can I submit more than one application for different projects?

    Yes! You can submit as many applications as you, your business or your community group like, BUT only the most popular project per group, individual or business will be funded.

    For example: if a community group (local residents in a street), submit 4 applications, one for a water fountain, one for a community garden, one for a park bench and one for a portable library in the park and the portable library in the park gets the most votes this will be the project that is considered for funding.

    Will all submitted applications appear on the website for public voting?

    All submissions are considered at a roundtable meeting before the public voting stage. The roundtable is made up of relevant City staff. If your project is in keeping with the ethos of the YOU CHOOSE program and ticks these boxes: safe, legal and in the spirit of the project, then YES your project will be put up for public voting. If we need to contact you for more information or clarity, we will do this prior to the project going up for the community vote.

    What if our project is successful?

    Firstly, you will be contacted by the City in writing advising of your success. The letter will also include a simple contract. You will need to complete your project by 30 June 2025.

    What happens if our project is unsuccessful?

    The voting results will be published on this page. If your group is still keen to pursue the project, contact us and we will do our best to provide information about other possible funding sources.

    We’ve run into a problem. Can someone at the City help us fix it?

    We can no doubt offer some advice but it’s far better if you think of ways to use or expand your own networks to solve the problem. This is part of the spirit of the program – building community resilience and developing community connections.

    Let’s say you’re having trouble with your community garden. Maybe there’s someone else nearby who’s worked in a community project like yours before? Could you approach the local Men’s Shed or a nearby carpenter for offcuts to use as stakes? Maybe you could ask someone at the local nursery about how to get rid of cabbage moths?

    We also request that you factor in a simple 5-year maintenance budget in your application. Say your picnic bench needs re-varnishing every 6 months, or your nature play needs re-mulching and re-planting, allow for this over a 5-year period.

    What happens if our You Choose funded garden dies or our community gazebo is vandalised?

    Exactly what would happen if the garden or gazebo were in your backyard. You’d make a decision about whether to replant the garden or repair the gazebo. If you decided not to go ahead you’d simply pull out the dead plants or pull down the gazebo so it was safe.

    Setbacks can be a challenge but they can also build resilience. Perhaps reach out to your networks and ask for help and ideas for solutions.

    What happens if we don’t spend all the funds at the end of the project?

    That’s easy, just give back what’s left.

    What happens if we don’t finish our project by 30 June 2025?

    You’ll have about 15 months to complete your project, depending on when you start. We know it can be challenging to make sure projects are finished on time, but please contact us before the project deadline so we have plenty of time to talk about your options.

    How do I vote for my favourite projects?

    Voting is open to all residents and ratepayers in the City of Busselton from 15 January 2024 until 13 February 2024 (about 4 weeks).

    We will require your email address and you can unsubscribe when the project is over if you like. It will be one vote per email address. We encourage young people to vote too! So get the whole family involved.

    Voting will be carried out via an online budget allocator tool. Unfortunately, we will not have any paper voting slips but one of our friendly staff at our Customer Service Centre or Libraries would be more than happy to help you access the site so you can still vote. The budget allocator tool will be available when voting opens.