|Recovery Grants of up to $75,000 have been extended to farmers in 15 local council areas in Victoria, to help the community recover after the recent bushfires.
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.
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.
Minister for Natural Disaster and Emergency Management David Littleproud said the package would help fire-hit Victorians take the lead in rebuilding their communities.
“We want a locally-led recovery, not a Canberra-led recovery,” Minister Littleproud said.
“The recovery will take some time, which is why the repairs need to start now.
“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.
“Getting communities back to work is one of the best ways to help a community recover.
“We will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with these communities and make further assistance available as it is needed.”
Victorian Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa 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.”
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.