Bushfire recovery funding to create jobs and help communities build back better

​The Australian Government is providing more than $17.3 million to support Victorian Government projects and programs critical to bushfire recovery in East Gippsland and the state’s North East under Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

Commonwealth Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, David Littleproud, said the funding comes in addition to previous support provided by the Australian Government, including for the jointly funded $68.6 million Local Economic Recovery program.

“We’re working in partnership with councils and state governments on the long-term recovery after these devastating fires, and we’re proud to be delivering the things they need to keep their work going”, Minister Littleproud said.

Victorian Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville the funding would support programs across all Victoria’s pillars of bushfire recovery: people and wellbeing, business and economy, Aboriginal culture and healing, and both the built and natural environments.

“Whether it’s supporting the repair of damaged infrastructure in our parks and forests, or helping individuals in need with their personal finances or legal help as they make decisions about their future, these programs are vital for the recovery of communities in our state”, Minister Neville said.

The Australian Government’s $17.3 million in funding matches initiatives funded by the Victorian Government under the
2019-20 Eastern Victorian Fires State Recovery Plan. The funding will support:

  • repairing and reinstating the strategic fire access network of roads and tracks ($5 million)
  • upgrading and repairing key visitor assets in parks, forests and reserves ($3.2 million)
  • advice, services and rebates to help locals plan and complete their rebuild ($2.2 million)
  • disaster legal help for individuals, small businesses and farmers ($2.55 million)
  • Aboriginal community organisations, businesses and jobs ($1.4 million)
  • tailored financial counselling for bushfire-affected individuals and businesses ($1 million)
  • strengthening school resilience and helping them prepare for future disasters ($0.98 million)
  • increased family violence services, including early intervention programs ($0.94 million)

“These programs are about supporting job growth, giving families, property owners, small businesses and farmers the support they need, repairing fire damage to visitor assets, and more”, Minister Littleproud said.

“It’s just one part of the support we have provided state governments to date on their long-term recovery journey.”

The Australian Government also confirmed a further $15 million towards the successful 2020 Bushfire Clean-Up Program. In January, the Australian and Victorian Governments announced the jointly funded program to demolish, remove and safely dispose of all buildings destroyed or damaged beyond repair, free of charge for property owners. With this additional assistance, the Australian and Victorian Governments have each provided a total of $52.5 million to the program, which was completed on schedule at the end of August.

In total, the Australian Government has provided approximately $190 million towards Victoria’s bushfire recovery, including joint-funded grants of $10,000 to over 2000 small businesses and primary producers who lost income after the fires, and joint-funded grants of up to $75,000 to over 400 primary producers who were directly-affected by fire and needed support to rebuild their farm business.

“We’re working closely with Victoria to ensure that people who were among the most affected by these fires – the hundreds of individuals who lost homes, businesses and farms – are getting the support they need”, Minister Littleproud said.

To view the
2019-20 Eastern Victorian Fires State Recovery Plan, visit the
Bushfire Recovery Victoria website.​

The $68.6 million Local Economic Recovery program jointly funded by the Australian and Victorian Governments opened on Thursday, 29 October. To view the guidelines and application process, visit the Local Economic Recovery page.

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