New drought-preparedness grants are available to community organisations around the Shire of Manjimup through the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal. The money is a part of the Future Drought Fund’s Networks to Build Drought Resilience program which offers funding to organisations or community groups to help prepare them for potential dry years in the future. As Manjimup is an agriculture hotspot in Western Australia, the Shire is urging people to submit applications for the grants. Shire president Paul Omodei said the money could be used to fund multiple facets of any organisation. “Grants can fund events, projects, activities, training, and small-scale infrastructure that assists communities to build their capacity (to fight drought),” he said. FRRR’s applications are open to not-for-profit organisations under four categories — building community capacity, enabling or improving collaboration through networks, upgrading small-scale community infrastructure, or organising events which build understanding of climate risk. The grants are a part of a new initiative by the Federal Government which FRRR is aiding by travelling to rural and regional communities to discuss ongoing issues they might be facing. FRRR’s disaster, resilience and recovery lead Nina O’Brien, pictured, who recently toured country towns in the Great Southern region, said the categories organisations could apply under were broad because each town’s needs were specific to the region. “That is why we develop broad guidelines so it gives communities flexibility to put forward proposals that make sense and are logical to their particular town or region,” she said. Applications for the second round are open until November 1.