Bushfire affected communities in North East Victoria can now apply for money to support Local Economic Recovery projects.
Nationals Senate Leader and Senator for Victoria Bridget McKenzie encouraged communities in the Upper Murray and Alpine regions to apply for funding under the $68.6 million Local Economic Recovery program in Victoria, which will be jointly funded by the Victorian and Australian governments.
“Recovery needs to be backed by governments but led by communities, with money invested in the things that matter here in the North East, and that’s what this Local Economic Recovery funding will deliver,” Senator McKenzie said.
“Applications are now open and details are online so it’s time to get your ideas ready – get together and consider what’s needed to boost your community, your local economy and your region, so recovery can continue to progress across the Towong, Mansfield, Alpine, Wodonga, Indigo and Wangaratta LGAs and our Alpine resorts.”
The Local Economic Recovery program in Victoria will have two streams, with 60 per cent of the funding – or $42 million – dedicated to regional economic projects and programs, and 40 per cent to fund local community projects.
Under the $42 million regional economic stream all funds will be allocated by January 2021. In this stream:
- $34 million will be set aside for regional economic stimulus and resilience grants of up to $5 million, which are open to private businesses – including Alpine Resorts, industry groups, councils and non-profits
- $8 million will be dedicated to regional economic programs, such as initiatives to boost skills and resiliency of businesses.
Under the $26.6 million local community stream several grants rounds are planned through to mid-2021.
- $26.6 million is available for grants of up to $2 million. Projects can focus on any pillar of bushfire recovery, including business, economy and tourism, wellbeing, the environment, or facilities and infrastructure. These grants are open to Community Recovery Committees, businesses, councils and other local groups. Five fast tracked projects have already been announced.
Communities have been consulted on the design of the program, to ensure it helps support their recovery priorities and gives them enough time to get their project proposals right.
The Minister for Emergency Management David Littleproud said the funding will provide a social and economic boost in Victorian communities most severely affected by the Black Summer bushfires.
“This year has not been easy for Victorians, but these grants for locally-identified bushfire recovery projects are another step in the right direction, to help communities get back on their feet,” Minister Littleproud said.
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.
A number of Local Economic Recovery projects have already been announced in Victoria, including:
- $190,000 to restore and expand the Cudgewa tennis facility.
- $128,700 to re-establish a tree-lined avenue in Tintaldra.
- $120,000 to build a 19.5 metre pedestrian bridge joining Harrietville with the east branch of the Ovens.
- $40,000 to create three large murals in Mount Beauty.
More information about the Local Economic Recovery program in Victoria is available at www.vic.gov.au/local-economic-recovery-program-bushfire-affected-communities