Monday, 31 May 2021
Media release

Joint media release with the Hon. Danny Pearson MP - More funding for community projects to support local bushfire recovery

​Upgrades to vital community assets and infrastructure, including facilities that acted as relief and recovery centres during the bushfires, funding for better tourism offerings to support the recovery of local economies like the construction of a mountain bike park, and the development of a cultural journey walk are among the new projects to share in $14.5 million in support for local community projects across bushfire-affected areas of Victoria.

Announcing further Local Economic Recovery grants today, Australian Minister for Emergency Management David Littleproud and Victorian Acting Minister for Police and Emergency Services Danny Pearson congratulated applicants on their project ideas that will help build a sense of community pride and connectedness and a sustainable future for their communities.

“This funding allows councils, community members and local business groups to shape the long-term recovery of Victoria’s bushfire-affected regions,” Minister Littleproud said.

“Communities have suffered due to drought, bushfire and COVID, and the Local Economic Recovery program is about creating jobs, improving infrastructure, backing businesses, and supporting communities to become more resilient to disasters in the future.”

“In addition to major economic stimulus projects, the Local Economic Recovery program is providing funding exactly where it is needed for the smaller local-level projects in communities that can really enhance tourism and business while also restoring that sense of community connectedness and pride,” Acting Minister Pearson said.

“A further round of Local Economic Recovery funding for local community projects will be available over the coming year, ensuring communities have the time they need to determine their local priorities and get their ideas right,” Mr Pearson said.

Twenty-four projects were announced today under the Victorian Government’s Local Community Project Grants under the Australian and Victorian governments’ $68.6 million Local Economic Recovery (LER) program. 

Local community projects funded in East Gippsland to support sustainable bushfire recovery include:

  • $1.92 million to upgrade the Swifts Creek Recreation Reserve that is a critical asset for surrounding communities.
  • $1.89 million to redevelop the Mallacoota Golf Course that suffered significant vegetation loss during the fires to support tourism and improved environmental outcomes.
  • $1.5 million to upgrade the surface of the iconic East Gippsland Rail Trail.
  • $1.07 million to upgrade facilities at the Bruthen Recreation Reserve to make them more accessible and support the growth of community sports.
  • $818,000 to upgrade the Mallacoota Hall that was the town’s primary refuge facility during the bushfires and a relief centre in the weeks following.
  • $362,000 for the development of a cultural journey walk in Orbost that will support the community to connect with land and culture.
  • $432,549 to a mobile Play2Learn program that will engage vulnerable families in informal play spaces and community events.
  • $402,125 for an all abilities upgrade to improve the visitor experience at the Lakes Entrance Recreation Reserve.
  • $336,000 to upgrade the Marlo Community Hall that plays a critical role as a community gathering point during emergencies.
  • $296,000 to rebuild the Mallacoota Pony Club facilities that were destroyed by the bushfires.
  • $87,260 to support community participation and recovery through improved community facilities and support initiatives in Goongerah.
  • $40,250 for the construction of an accessible canoe launch on the Snowy River in Buchan and signage to improve safety and the visitor experience.

Local community projects funded in Victoria’s North East to support sustainable bushfire recovery include:

  • $1.5 million towards the construction of the second stage of the Mitta Valley Mountain Bike Park in the Mitta State Forest to support regional tourism.
  • $850,000 for improvements to the Tawonga Community Memorial Hall that will
    enable it to be used as a relief centre and better support community events.
  • $536,875 to upgrade the Harrietville Community Hall that is both a relief centre and operational hub during emergencies.
  • $500,000 to support the growth of a not-for-profit social enterprise that links volunteers to property owners to improve local food security via market gardens.
  • $470,000 to upgrade facilities at the Myrtleford Recreation Reserve to improve accessibility and enable greater participation for people of all abilities.
  • $354,351 for the refurbishment of the Corryong and District Memorial Hall to modernise facilities and continue to provide a vital community gathering place.
  • $250,921 to upgrade the facilities at the Tallangatta Memorial Hall that was an evacuation centre and emergency services hub during the bushfires.
  • $247,800 for the restoration of fire affected drainage lines and gullies in the Upper Murray.
  • $244,600 to replace the main green at the Corryong Bowls Club with synthetic grass that will be simpler and cheaper to maintain.
  • $170,000 to revitalise the Cudgewa School Park and replace infrastructure that was destroyed in the bushfires.
  • $150,000 to replace the much-loved waterslide on the Ovens River in Bright.
  • $41,000 to a natural disaster recovery and climate change adaptation program to foster rural resilience in emerging leaders in the agriculture sector.

Funding already provided under the Victoria LER program includes $8 million in economic programs to support jobs, apprenticeships, farmers and businesses across the highly fire-affected areas, $32.9 million in regional economic stimulus and resilience projects to support regional economic recovery, and $6.7 million in local community projects addressing community recovery priorities.

Together with this $14 million investment, the total joint funding allocated so far in Victoria under the $68.6 million Local Economic Recovery program is $62 million.

For the upcoming round of LER community project grants, practical support from local suppliers will soon be also on offer to Community Recovery Committees to assist with the grant application process, such as grant writing and project scoping.

To learn more about the Local Economic Recovery program in Victoria, or see what else you might be eligible for, visit www.brv.vic.gov.au, contact 1800 560 760 or visit a local Bushfire Recovery Hub.