MEDIA STATEMENT

July 7, 2021

Helen Haines MP is encouraging Indi communities affected by the 2019-20 bushfires to apply for grants between $20,000 and $10 million in the latest round of the Bushfire Recovery Grants Program.

The Independent Federal Member for Indi said these grants were a great opportunity for community groups, businesses and local councils to get funds for social and economic recovery projects or rebuilding infrastructure damaged in the bushfires.

Community groups, businesses and local councils in Alpine, Towong, Indigo, Mansfield, Wangaratta and Wodonga local government areas and the Alpine Resorts are eligible to apply.

Applications open on July 22 and up to $276 million in grants is available, with each local government area given a set amount of funds. The program is flexible to allow communities to identify and implement projects that make sense to them.

Black Summer Bushfire recovery grants offer the opportunity for local communities to address recovery priorities through creation of jobs, sustainable infrastructure and community investment. Unsuccessful projects previously submitted for funding may apply for this grant opportunity.

Dr Haines encouraged community organisations, businesses and local councils to check out the eligibility criteria and consider applying.

“These grants are a great opportunity for communities in the Alpine, Towong, Indigo, Mansfield, Wangaratta and Wodonga local government areas, and the Alpine Resorts, to fund projects that assist in the bushfire recovery effort,” Dr Haines said.

“The grants are intended to empower local communities to address their own bushfire recovery priorities, an approach that is so important to the diverse communities in Indi that have been affected by the Black Summer bushfires.”

“Indi has already received almost $80 million in bushfire recovery grants, but there’s more that needs to be done. These grants provide a further opportunity for communities affected by the bushfires to get funding for projects that may have missed out in previous rounds.

“Projects aimed at increasing employment, helping to mitigate climate-related risk and damage, addressing health impacts of the bushfires and supporting tourism-related activities are all eligible.”

The latest grant round has been announced in the week after a report from the Auditor-General praised the way in which the National Bushfire Recovery Agency was administered. The report found the $2 billion National Bushfire Recovery Fund was effectively coordinated and the arrangements to monitor and report on funded activities were largely effective.

“I worked closely with the National Bushfire Recovery Agency on the programs to assist communities in Indi as they recovered from the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires. It is heartening to see a Government program like this can be run well when proper consultation with the community takes place.”

There will be applicant support workshops (in person and online) available to help for people who would like some help with the application process. For more information on the grant and the applicant support workshops, head to the National Recovery and Resilience Agency’s website at https://recovery.gov.au/black-summer-grants. To read the guidelines for eligibility to apply for a grant and a preview application form, visit the Business Grants Hub website at https://business.gov.au/bsbr.

Applications close 5pm on September 2, 2021.

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