The Victorian community will benefit from a $5.1m boost to support its bushfire recovery efforts as part of the joint Australian and Victorian governments’ latest injection of funding from the Local Economic Recovery (LER) program. The 15 funded projects will support local recovery in parts of Victoria that were hardest hit by the 2019-20 bushfires.
The Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, David Littleproud MP said the projects will help to empower and resource locals in support of their recovery journey.
“A collaborative approach to recovery is vital, and this money will support local recovery priorities, helping bushfire-affected communities rebuild important community infrastructure and local economies.
“These projects will improve community and sporting facilities that were damaged during the fires, creating revitalised areas that are important for community cohesion, but also serve as rallying points for the community and emergency services in times of crisis.
“The revitalisation of recreation facilities will assist in bringing visitors back to bushfire affected regions, helping to rebuild local economies,” Minister Littleproud said.
The program is part of a joint investment of $68.6 million for locally led bushfire recovery initiatives, announced in October by the Australian and Victorian governments.
Funding for LER projects is just one of the initiatives supported by the Australian Government’s National Bushfire Recovery Fund, which is worth more than $2 billion. To date, more than $1.8 billion in Australian Government support has been provided to help bushfire affected communities, including $1.2 billion spent so far from the National Bushfire Recovery Fund.
The 15 projects include:
- More than $470,000 will be invested in the Walwa Services Memorial Hall Revitalisation Project, supporting upgrades to the building’s utilities and standalone emergency refuge functions so it has the necessary amenities and facilities required for an emergency relief centre.
- More than $540,000 will be invested in the Towong Soldiers “Our Place" project, to refurbish the Towong Soldiers Memorial Hall, including upgrades to make the hall a more accessible and comfortable meeting place.
- $800,000 will be invested in the Upper Murray Place Based Power Plan - Energy Nodes Project to help protect against power outages in various towns across Towong Shire. The project will help install Energy Nodes (consisting of solar power, batteries, generators and smart energy controllers) for key community assets.
- More than $380,000 will be invested in the Game, Set, Match - Corryong Tennis Hub project. The project will upgrade the facility to an eight-court central tennis hub for the Upper Murray region that can accommodate more players in one location, offer adult and children's tournaments, and host a summer competition.
- More than $295,000 will support the Kergunyah Hall Upgrades project to allow greater inclusion for elderly, less mobile community members or those with a disability. The work includes upgrading the kitchen to allow for catering for community events (when allowed) and in times of crisis, and improving accessibility access to the whole hall.
- $189,000 will go to the Jean Francois Rupp Ta Alpine Nature Experience, to help improve the current surface and drainage on Possum loop track and Dargo lookout trail. The work will allow use of the trail all year round, encouraging more visitors to the region.
- More than $426,000 will be invested to help develop a multi-purpose community facility in Tambo Crossing.
- More than $184,000 will fund major upgrades to the Genoa Tennis Courts to accommodate basketball and netball.
- More than $118,000 will fund the Buchan Gelantipy and District Renewal Community connection and resilience program, including improving the Wulgulmerang sports ground, Gelantipy hall, Buchan recreation reserve and the Buchan Hall.
- $115,000 will upgrade the Marlo Triangle Park playground.
- $75,000 will upgrade the Nowa Nowa Boat ramp to allow access all year round.
- $341,600 will upgrade the Omeo Rodeo facility to host more frequent events.
- $140,000 to fund a position to support recovery and resilience building for children with additional needs and their families in East Gippsland.
- More than $924,000 will revitalise and modernise community facilities at Livingstone Park in Omeo.
- More than $114,000 will repair and upgrade Swan Reach netball courts damaged when the recreation reserve was used as a base for firefighting operations.
These projects complement $8 million in programs recently announced as part of the LER to grow jobs, create apprenticeships, attract more visitors and help farmers in the region. Joint media release with The Hon. Lisa Neville MP - Boost for jobs, skills and tourism to support long-term economic recovery after bushfires (homeaffairs.gov.au).
Details of successful local economic recovery projects in Victoria – and across other states - are available on the National Bushfire Recovery Agency website at www.bushfirerecovery.gov.au/local-recovery-projects