31 May 2021

Independent Federal Member for Indi Helen Haines today welcomed the next round of bushfire recovery funding for local community projects under the Local Economic Recovery Program.

Twelve community projects in Alpine and Towong will share in $5.3 million grant funding, with the largest single project being $1.5 million for the construction of the Mitta Valley Mountain Bike Park.

“Half of the 24 projects across Victoria announced today are in Indi. The funding is more than double the last round,” Dr Haines said.

“This brings the total funding to Indi under the $68.6 million Local Economic Recovery Program to just over $31.8 million.

“The success of these projects is the result of sustained hard work of many in our community to chart their own path for bushfire recovery.

“I brought Minister for Emergency Management David Littleproud to Indi last year to meet community leaders, local government and business.

“I then hosted heads of the National Bushfire Recovery Agency Andrew Colvin and Major General Hocking to see first-hand what bushfire recovery looked like on the ground”

“We know from bitter experience that bushfire recovery has a long tail. Not only will this latest round of funding back in our local business and community-led recovery, it will build morale.”

Dr Haines welcomed the funding focus on community halls:

“During and after the fires, I visited dozens of halls in Alpine and Towong that became makeshift emergency relief shelters and operations hubs in the most desperate of circumstances.

“The funding for the Tawonga, Corryong, Tallangatta and Harrietville halls will help these important places become fit-for-purpose the next time an emergency comes around.

“It also recognises that our small halls are an important place for communities to come together, celebrate and rebuild after a tough 18 months of drought, COVID, bushfires and border closures.

“The Corryong and District Memorial Public Hall only last week received a $13,515 Stronger Communities Programme grant to refurbish the hall’s timber floor. The funding of over $354,000 will help the hall fulfil its potential as a meeting place and community hub.

Haines also welcomed the funding for tourism infrastructure.

“The funding of the Mountain Bike Park in the Mitta State Forest is a game changer for the tourism economy of the of Mitta Valley and will attract mountain bike enthusiasts from around the nation.

“The recreation reserve in Myrtleford and the waterslide in Bright are key facilities for community participation and tourist visitation.

“When I brought Minister Littleproud to Bright last year, he commented on Bright’s magnificent water park. It’s fantastic that the much-loved old waterslide will get a facelift.

Dr Haines spent the afternoon telephoning the applicants to congratulate them.

“Everyone from the Mayor of Towong Shire to the treasurer of the community hall committees are just ecstatic with the good news.

“And the economic benefits are immediately obvious.

“Community food cooperative Acres and Acres will now hire four to five employees. This is a transformative workforce for Corryong. It wouldn’t have been possible without this funding.

Today’s announcement brings the total bushfire recovery grants to individuals, small businesses and farmers impacted by the Black Summer fires in Indi to $79,687,561.

Local community projects funded in Indi under today’s announcements are:


1. $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.

2. $536,875 to upgrade the Harrietville Community Hall that is both a relief centre and operational hub during emergencies.

3. $470,000 to upgrade facilities at the Myrtleford Recreation Reserve to improve accessibility and enable greater participation for people of all abilities.

4. $150,000 to replace the much-loved waterslide on the Ovens River in Bright.


1. $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.

2. $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.

3. $354,351 for the refurbishment of the Corryong and District Memorial Hall to modernise facilities and continue to provide a vital community gathering place.

4. $250,921 to upgrade the facilities at the Tallangatta Memorial Hall that was an evacuation centre and emergency services hub during the bushfires.

5. $247,800 for the restoration of fire affected drainage lines and gullies in the Upper Murray.

6. $244,600 to replace the main green at the Corryong Bowls Club with synthetic grass that will be simpler and cheaper to maintain.

7. $170,000 to revitalise the Cudgewa School Park and replace infrastructure that was destroyed in the bushfires.

8. $41,000 to a natural disaster recovery and climate change adaptation program to foster rural resilience in emerging leaders in the agriculture sector.

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