Businesses, farms and young people across Indi will benefit from an additional $7.3 million in bushfire recovery program funding to spearhead jobs, tourism capability, and economic recovery and growth.
The five programs were announced this week by the Australian and Victorian governments, as part of an $8 million boost for Victoria through Local Economic Recovery (LER) funding. The new programs will be administered by the Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions.
Wodonga-based Nationals Senator for Victoria, Bridget McKenzie, said these programs will help lift the region’s economy after the challenges of 2020.
“After the year our communities have had this is welcome news, and it shows the needs of Indi communities remain top of mind in bushfire recovery efforts,” she said.
“In this $7.3 million bushfire recovery boost there’s extra support for small business, investments in tourism and cultural experiences, help for farming communities, and money for more apprentices.”
The regional economic recovery programs announced this week include:
- $2.1 million for On-farm Recovery Support Services, linking farmers with dedicated agricultural recovery experts to assist with pasture recovery, ground cover management and revegetation, soil health, erosion, farm water supplies and quality, risk and resilience planning (including fire preparedness), and mental health and wellbeing.
- $1.96 million for the Gippsland and High-Country Visitor Reactivation Program, providing additional funds for Tourism North East and Destination Gippsland for industry support and promotion after bushfires and COVID-19.
- $1.28 million to create 40 new apprenticeship and traineeship positions for young people in the North East and East Gippsland through the Victorian Apprenticeship Bushfire Recovery Program.
- $1 million for a Microenterprise Development Program, based on a successful pilot program in the Latrobe Valley, providing coaching, mentoring, microfinance access and other resources to support sole traders.
- $1 million for the Taungurung Bushfire Recovery Economic Prosperity Program, supporting Aboriginal cultural tourism opportunities on Taungurung Country (in the North East) and establishing the regional cultivation of mountain pepper – an in-demand ‘superfood’ used by Aboriginal people for generations.
Local Economic Recovery funding is just one of the initiatives supporting Victorians through their recovery from the 2019-20 bushfires. The Australian Government is supporting more than $2 billion worth of bushfire recovery through the National Bushfire Recovery Fund, and $1.2 billion of this has already been rolled out to help people and communities across the country.
Find out more about local economic recovery projects taking place in Victoria on the National Bushfire Recovery Agency website at www.bushfirerecovery.gov.au/local-recovery-projects.
For information about future rounds of the Local Economic Recovery program in Victoria, visit www.vic.gov.au/local-economic-recovery-program-bushfire-affected-communities