THE people have voted and the cheques are in the mail, but there must still be questions about a scheme that allocates public money based on the results of an online poll.
There will be no complaints from Bathurst Public School, Eglinton Public School and the Generocity Church (pictured) who will share in more than $300,000 after they topped the vote for the Bathurst electorate, but others might see it differently.
All three of the winning submissions are worthy projects but whenever we see public money being invested we have to ask, is that the best possible use of that money?
In the case of these three projects the answer has to be maybe, but maybe not.
First, two of the winning submissions came from local schools who were able to harness strong support from their school communities to help them top the poll.
And while no one would begrudge any spending on public education, you must ask whether it was an even playing field for two much smaller schools - Rylstone and Perthville public schools - that had also applied for funding. By sheer weight of numbers they were never going to be in the race.
And then there's the question of whether it's right for school projects to be funded through a community grants program.
If the state government properly funded education then this money should have been available through other avenues.
But these concerns are not new.
This newspaper raised the same questions about equity while the polls were still open for My Community Project funding and the results - in Bathurst, at least - have done nothing to allay those concerns.
Across the state, millions of dollars in My Community Project funding is now being funnelled to the organisations that have generated the most social media engagement with no real vetting of whether or not the projects might be the most worthy.
The online vote encouraged people to support the projects that benefited groups with which they have a direct association rather than projects that might offer a benefit for the greater good.
Of course, had the submissions gone through the usual process of assessment by government bureaucrats then the same three Bathurst winners may have emerged; we will never know.
But the way this money has been distributed has left a bad taste for the unsuccessful submissions and real concerns within the community. Let's not do it again.