MEDIA STATEMENT

Over $34 million has been delivered in bushfire recovery funding in Indi so far, with more than $60 million still available, according to Helen Haines MP.

The Independent Member for Indi today issued an update on the progress of bushfire recovery grants in Indi, showing that $33.6 million has been delivered to 6328 individuals, small businesses and farmers impacted by the Black Summer fires.

In addition, four projects worth almost half a million dollars have been funded under the Local Economic Recovery program.

Haines said that almost 400 small businesses in areas that were originally excluded from the funds had now received a recovery grant.

The National Bushfire Recovery Agency data shows that 87 small businesses in Mansfield, 154 in Wangaratta and 140 in Indigo shires have each received a $10,000 small business bushfire support grant.

“I’m so pleased to see this $10,000 grant has been paid to so many businesses in these local government areas,” the Independent Federal Member for Indi said.

“These areas were overlooked and excluded by the federal government from applying for this grant when it announced bushfire recovery funding.

“It was only through months of dedicated advocacy, together with Wangaratta mayor Dean Rees, Indigo mayor Jenny O’Connor and Mansfield mayor Marg Attlee, that we were able to win this funding.

“That’s almost $4 million that would never have made it into the pockets of our small business community”.

Dr Haines said that there was just seven weeks remaining for small businesses and primary producers to apply for recovery grants from the 2019-20 summer fires, with applications closing on December 31

However, an additional $60.6 million has also just been made available for bushfire recovery in Victoria through the Local Economic Recovery program.

Haines encouraged businesses and community groups to consider applying for this funding, with applications for the first $5.3 million funding round closing on 30 November.

“For many, this year has just been about dealing with the impact of the fires and getting through COVID. Now our focus shifts to rebuilding the economy for the long term”.

“I’ve spoken with so many people with bright ideas to rebuild our economy – from locally-owned solar and batteries, to new tourist attractions, digital marketing for our small businesses and upgraded equipment for our farmers. Well this is the chance to get some funding to make this happen and I encourage everyone with a bright idea for our region’s future to consider applying”.

Make application for:

$10,000 Small Business Bushfire Support Grant at: https://www.ruralfinance.com.au/industry-programs/small-business-bushfire-support-grant

$75,000 Primary Producer Grant at:https://www.ruralfinance.com.au/industry-programs/victorian-bushfires-2019-2020-clean-up-and-restoration-grants

Local Economic Recovery funds:https://www.vic.gov.au/local-economic-recovery-program-bushfire-affected-communities

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