Indi communities still recovering from the Black Summer bushfires will soon have an opportunity to apply for funding under a new grants program from the Australian Government.
Local-based Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie said the $280 million Black Summer Bushfire Recovery grants program will open mid-2021 to community organisations, businesses and councils in Local Government Areas that were disaster-declared as a result of the 2019-20 bushfires.
“We know recovery takes time and needs to match the pace of communities, so this is a great chance to access funding for priorities such as those in the Upper Murray and Alpine areas,” she said.
“While it will still be a month or two before grant guidelines are available, we’re getting the grants on people’s radar early so communities can start thinking about local needs and ideas.”
Senator McKenzie said the grant criteria and process would be as simple and flexible as possible. While details are still to come, the program is expected to fund a broad range of projects from community wellbeing right through the those that support the recovery of natural and built environments.
Minister for Emergency Management David Littleproud MP said this funding is part of the Australian Government’s $2 billion National Bushfire Recovery Fund.
The $280 million is made of unspent funds from the National Bushfire Recovery Fund, which had lower than expected take-up for some of the demand-driven programs, plus the previously announced $98.5 million Complementary Projects fund.
This is a clear example of the Australian Government working hard to make sure any unspent funds go to where it is now needed the most.
“We know that recovery is a long haul and communities are still struggling more than a year after the devastating bushfire season of 2019-20,” Minister Littleproud said.
“This funding will help them continue their recovery, making sure that every dollar from the National Bushfire Recovery Fund is being used where it’s needed most.”
Guidelines and funding criteria will be available in mid-2021 with grant rounds expected to open shortly after that and funding to be delivered to successful applicants from December 2021.
Potential applicants can express their interest in receiving further information, once available, via the online Black Summer grants contact form at www.bushfirerecovery.gov.au/grants-program.
The government’s support for communities hit by major disasters such as bushfires was today further highlighted with the announcement of a National Recovery and Resilience Agency. It will be dedicated to coordinating locally-led recovery and driving efforts to reduce the impacts of future large-scale disasters. More details can be found here.