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Bega: Bega Valley Shire Council welcome the Bushfire Recovery announcement

Bega Valley Shire Council has welcomed the announcement of more than $10.5 million of direct funding for projects in the Bega Valley and a further $25 million for partnership projects that will benefit the Bega Valley community, through the Australian Government’s Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants Program.

Mayor Russell Fitzpatrick said the funding would provide a much-needed boost to the community’s ongoing recovery journey in the Bega Valley as well as other areas.

“Two years on from the Black Summer bushfires there is still much to be done to help our communities recover and build more long-term strength and resilience,” Cr Fitzpatrick said.

“This funding will go a long way to addressing social and economic recovery and resilience across the shire, as well as improving the sustainability of key community infrastructure.”

Council was successful in securing funding for three projects, one of which is a partnership with the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal, totalling more than $2.7 million. The remainder of the funding across the shire has been awarded to community groups and organisations.

“We haven’t received the funding deeds with all the details yet, but the amount of funding announced is recognition of the genuine need that still exists in our shire,” Cr Fitzpatrick said.

“It’s great to see projects such as the Cobargo Community Energy Project, enhancement of evacuation facilities for Bermagui Surf Life Saving Club, Twofold Aboriginal Corporation’s Cultural and Skills Training Centre and many more being recognised and funded to enable their important work to continue or progress.

“The real strength of the program is the community-led partnerships it supports among community groups, not-for-profit organisations and local government—no-one knows the needs of their community better than local people.

“Unfortunately, there were a number of projects that weren’t successful. I know how much time and effort goes into every grant application, particularly as our communities are on their own recovery journey and I’d like to thank everyone who invested their time and energy to support the community. Council is committed to working with the community to continue our recovery journey.”

The successful Council projects, which will support ongoing recovery and resilience needs are:

  • Water Catchment and Sanitation Project – a partnership with Council, Pambula Rotary, Social Justice Advocates and Connecting Communities Australia that will enable water and sanitation pods to be built for another 14 families who lost their homes in the Black Summer bushfires and are living on their land in temporary accommodation with only very basic water and sanitation systems in place.

  • Investing in Rural Community Futures across the Bega Valley: Resilience, Connection and Place – a partnership between the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal, Council and the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation aimed at building and supporting the capacity of not-for-profits in the shire to maximise the impact of their work as they actively support social recovery following the Black Summer bushfires.

  • Additional, dedicated resources within Council to support recovery through:

  • providing tailored, personal support to people who lost their homes in the Black Summer bushfires to work through the rebuilding process

  • additional planning staff, including a development hub officer, a planner and an environmental health and building officer to help address the significant increase in development applications

  • tailored information and support for businesses focused on providing up-to-date information to interpret eligibility criteria, reporting obligations for businesses and support for how to apply for grants

  • embedding resilience approaches into Council policies and practices when engaging with the community to ensure an ongoing focus on resilience beyond our Local Recovery Action Plan.


The full list projects funded through the $390 million Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants is available on the Australian Government’s National Recovery and resilience Agency website at https://recovery.gov.au/black-summer-grants

The Australian Government’s Business Grants Hub will notify all applicants of the outcome of their proposal and then work with successful applicants to finalise grant agreements to enable projects to commence. This is expected to occur over the next few weeks.

VIDEO: Kristy McBain - Bushfire funding welcomed I've lost count of the amount of times I've stood up in the Parliament and begged the government to do more to support bushfire affected communities. Yesterday for a refreshing change I was able welcome some much-needed funding. Member for Eden-Monaro Kristy McBain has welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement that more money will be flowing to bushfire affected communities in Eden-Monaro.

The announcement comes after Kristy wrote to the Minister in January on behalf of local community groups who were awaiting answers and frustrated at the significant delay.

More than 40 local projects totalling around $30 million will be funded under the Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Program which aims to support communities to recover from the devastating 2019-20 bushfires.

Kristy said she was glad to see so many worthwhile projects receiving some much-needed support from the Federal Government.

“We are two years on from the Black Summer Bushfires and unfortunately, despite all this time, we’ve still got a long way to go in terms of our recovery,” Kristy said.

“People in our communities have been doing it really tough for a long time now, and this funding will no doubt give some of our communities a really good boost and will allow some fantastic local projects to get off the ground.

“I was fortunate to meet with community groups from Bega to Tumbarumba when they were working on their grant applications, and it was my pleasure to provide my support help get many of these projects over the line.”

Across Eden-Monaro more than $10 million will go to 21 projects in the Bega Valley, more than $5 million will go to 7 projects in the Queanbeyan-Palerang council area, more than $2.8 million will go to 7 projects in the Snowy Monaro and more than $9 million is going to 12 projects in the Snowy Valleys. In addition to these local projects, regional and national organisations will also receive millions of dollars in funding to deliver services in our region.

“Receiving this funding has not been an easy process. Our community groups and not-for-profit organisations have put in an incredible amount of hard work writing comprehensive grants applications. They’ve already putting in hard yards, what we need to see now is the money delivered to each and every project on the ground as soon as possible, with no more delays.

“I’ve already spoken some community groups to congratulate them and the relief and happiness from individuals and groups is heart-warming.

“While all the funded projects are incredibly worthwhile, there are some that will benefit our towns and villages, not just in the immediate future but for many years to come. These include the Cobargo RSL Memorial Hall Redevelopment and Old Bega Hospital Community Cultural Centre, the Mongarlowe Community Hall and Refuge, the Tumbarumba Equine Club facilities upgrade and the Mount Tumbarumba Recreation Parl Trail development, among many others.”

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