Communities impacted by bushfires in the Central West can now apply for funding to support local projects under the $250 million Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund, co-funded by the NSW and Australian governments.
Federal Member for Calare, and Minister for Decentralisation and Regional Education, Andrew Gee, said the support would provide a social and economic boost to NSW communities most severely affected by the Black Summer bushfires.
"The summer bushfires were unprecedented, with more than 3,000 homes lost across the country and 33 people tragically killed,” Mr Gee said.
“Our electorate of Calare in central western NSW was on the frontline, with communities such as Clarence and Dargan, Ilford and Running Stream, left devastated.
“These bushfire affected communities don’t just recover overnight and many are still suffering.
“That is why programs like the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund, which support longer-term initiatives, are so important.
“Our bushfire recovery here in the Central West needs to be locally led, with money invested in the things that matter to our community – and that’s exactly what this program is all about.
Under the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund, grants of $200,000 to $20 million will be available to organisations such as councils, businesses, joint organisations, business chambers, charities, local Aboriginal Land Councils and state government agencies.
Funding is available for infrastructure and environmental projects, and social, business and environmental education initiatives.
Examples of projects that could be funded include:
- Restoration of bushfire impacted roads.
- Tourism campaigns and infrastructure that support social community development and economic recovery.
- Community hall upgrades and other critical social infrastructure.
- Community wellbeing and mental health programs.
- Restoration and improvement of parkland and other natural resources.
- Fire resistant infrastructure.
- Energy security infrastructure, such as solar power for community buildings.
“Applications open today (Tuesday 27 October) so it’s time to get your project ideas ready,” Mr Gee said.
“I encourage fire affected communities here in the Central West to get together and consider what’s needed to boost your community, your local economy and your region.
“Together, we will rebuild our communities, through projects and initiatives that put local people back in work, retain existing jobs and reinvigorate the economy.”
Overall, more than $500 million joint funding from the Australian and New South Wales Governments will be provided to support local economic, community and industry recovery projects in bushfire affected communities.
Funding for Local Economic Recovery projects is just one of the initiatives supported by the Australian Government’s National Bushfire Recovery Fund, which is worth more than $2 billion. To date, more than $1.8 billion in Australian Government support has been provided to help bushfire affected communities, including $1.2 billion spent so far from the National Bushfire Recovery Fund.
Projects seeking funding must be delivered in an eligible LGA, including:
- City of Lithgow Council
- Mid-Western Regional Council
- Oberon Council
Applications open on 27 October 2020 and close 11 December 2020. For more information visit: https://www.nsw.gov.au/regional-nsw/bushfire-local-economic-recovery-fund