$650 million boost for bushfire recovery

By Country News

Regions hit by bushfires will receive $650 million in Federal Government funding, as part of the Regional Bushfire Recovery and Development Program.

Bushfire-affected communities will share in $448.5 million to support the delivery of local recovery plans, with priority given to the most severely impacted regions.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the National Bushfire Recovery Agency would lead work to drive a strong economic recovery so the more than 18 600 families and businesses in bushfire-affected areas could get back on their feet.

“The same communities that were hurting most from the bushfires are hurting from the impacts of COVID-19,” he said.

The boost will fund projects that focus on landscape and water, replacing produce and stock, supporting local jobs and building future resilience.

The package includes $15 million to transport burned logs, $13.5 million for mental health support, $149.7 million for habitat regeneration and $27.1 million to strengthen telecommunications.

Federal Emergency Management Minister David Littleproud said the funding would deliver a locally led recovery.

“We’re working side-by-side with families, small businesses, primary producers and the tourism sector to deliver a well thought-out economic recovery as quickly as possible,” Mr Littleproud said.

“To date, the efforts of every level of government have been focused on emergency relief, the restoration of basic services, clean-up operations and the immediate wellbeing needs of people in the most severely impacted communities.

“While we recognise not all communities are at the same point of recovery, some communities are starting to consider longer-term planning.

“We’re here to support them with opportunities to rebuild.”