Page 1, Corryong Courier, October 15 2020
Councils, community members and local business groups are shaping the long-term recovery of Victoria’s bushfire-affected regions, with the Commonwealth and Victorian governments announcing a $68.6 million fund to drive regional recovery and back key local community projects.
Four North East projects are included in the five bushfire recovery projects given the green light.
Nationals Senate Leader and Senator for Victoria, Bridget McKenzie, said the support announced by Minister for Emergency Management, David Littleproud, will help address some of the impacts people are facing following the devastating 2019-20 fires.
“The Upper Murray was ravaged by this summer’s bushfires and this investment to get started on upgrades to community facilities such as Cudgewa tennis facility and community centre, to help us stay socially connected, active and engaged with one another as we emerge stronger from these difficult times,” Senator McKenzie said.
“This work is locally identified and community led and I can’t wait to see these projects get going.” Another Upper Murray project to receive funding is re-establishing an Avenue of Honour in Tintaldra to commemorate sacrifice and service in World War I and resilience during the fires; adding to the $10,000 committed by Border Trust.
Other projects included a pedestrian bridge over the Ovens River and the installation of three large murals at Mount Beauty.
Chair of the Upper Murray Community Recovery Committee, Dominic Sandilands, said “There’s a lot we can achieve with these funds at a local level and we’ve been happy to work closely with government on those decisions, because bushfire-affected communities like ours know what’s needed most.” Minister Littleproud said the pandemic has made bushfire recovery that much harder but bushfire affected communities have not been forgotten.
“Communities have suffered due to drought, bushfire and now covid and it’s not an easy road but these bushfire recovery projects are a sign that things are moving forward,” he said, “so this announcement will be the first of many.”
“The aim of this program is about creating jobs, backing businesses and supporting communities by giving the green light to key local projects,” Minister Littleproud said.
Victorian Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Lisa Neville, added that “We’ve always said that a successful recovery is one that’s shaped and supported by the community and that’s exactly what the Local Economic Recovery program is all about.” The program is jointly funded by the Australian and Victorian governments through Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.
The Victorian government is continuing to support the recovery of the state’s bushland and biodiversity following last summer’s unprecedented bushfires, with a major cash boost for local projects.
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, has announced funding for 52 projects through the Biodiversity Bushfire Recovery Grants program, with a total of $900,000 being provided for the delivery of on-ground works on public and private land.
The works will support community education through things like property planning courses and field days, as well as to implement environmental projects in bushfire affected parts of regional Victoria.
Funded projects include restoring habitat and biodiversity on fire affected land in the Upper Murray including: Upper Murray Landcare $50,000 – Restoring habitat and supporting land management; Cudgewa Landcare Group $29,600 – Revegetating and rehabilitating bushfire affected land; Koetong Landcare Group $30,000 Restoration and recovery of flora in the Pheasant Creek reserve; North East Blackberry Action Group $30,000 Bushfire recovery; and Other rehabilitation works will be carried out at Pine Mountain and along the Nariel Creek.
The summer bushfires burnt more than 1.5 million hectares, significantly impacting Victoria’s natural environment.
“I am so pleased to be able to provide extra support for our bushfire affected communities who are now dealing with the impacts of the pandemic on top of the fires,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.
Full list of recipients visit environment.vic.gov.au/grants/BBRG.