BUSHFIRE Recovery Grants of up to $75,000 have been extended to farmers in 15 local council areas in Victoria following the Federal Government’s announcement earlier this week.
The grants are available in the Ararat, Alpine, Ballarat, East Gippsland, Glenelg, Golden Plains, Indigo, Mansfield, Northern Grampians, Pyrenees, Southern Grampians, Towong, Wangaratta, Wellington and Wodonga local council areas.
A joint statement from the Federal Minister for Water Resources, Drought, Rural finance, Natural Disaster and Emergency Management, David Littleproud, and Victoria’s Minister for Water, Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville said another five programs will be rolled out under a jointly-funded $86 million Victorian Bushfires Community Recovery Package.
Funds are being made available for immediate recovery works, as well as for programs that will be designed and implemented with bushfire affected communities over the coming months as local recovery committees are formed.
- Community and Emergency Services Mental Health ($10 million) – boosting mental health services and support for people impacted by fire including emergency service personnel
- Community Recovery Hubs ($15 million) – one-stop shops for recovery services and programs, including mobile hubs to help dispersed communities and take services to remote areas
- Community Recovery Committees ($6 million) – to help local councils and communities develop locally-driven recovery plans that reflect their needs
- Community Recovery and Resilience Grants ($35 million) –to support locally-led programs that will assist community connection, engagement and resilience, and
- Immediate Reconstruction and Rebuilding Program ($20 million) – to support initial implementation of a reconstruction and rebuilding program for community infrastructure.
Mr Littleproud said the package would help fire-hit Victorians to take the lead in rebuilding their communities.
“We want a locally-led recovery, not a Canberra-led recovery.
“The recovery will take some time, which is why the repairs need to start now,” he said.
“The $75,000 grants will let farmers start rebuilding things like fences and sheds so they can get back to work sooner.
“A package is also being developed for small businesses, which will be announced soon.”
Ms Neville said a local approach would ensure the best outcomes for affected communities.
“These are immediate and practical support measures that will help local residents and communities as they recover and rebuild after these unprecedented fires.
“This is initial funding that will go to those who need it most and is additional to the support already being provided by the Victorian Government,” she said.
The Victorian Bushfires Community Recovery Package will be jointly funded under the Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.
Bushfire Recovery Victoria is working closely with the Commonwealth and state and local government to streamline assistance and support individuals, businesses and communities to get back on their feet.
More information on how to access the grants and register interest will available at www.vic.gov.au/bushfire-recovery-victoria.