Noosa Council will receive $1.6 million to improve and create new links within the Cooran-Pomona section of Noosa’s hinterland trails network to aid in the region’s economic recovery from bushfires and COVID-19, Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Llew O’Brien announced today.

Mr O’Brien said Noosa is one of five Queensland council areas heavily impacted by last year’s bushfires to share in more than $6 million to deliver a range of locally developed projects that will contribute to economic and social recovery, and create local jobs.

“Noosa’s beautiful natural environment is admired by people from all over Australia and the world, and these walking trails will provide a valuable boost to tourism and contribute to the economic and social recovery of our region,” Mr O’Brien said.

“This funding will be used to upgrade and realign 18 kilometres of existing trails, build new trails and creek crossings, and install interpretive signage, car parking and amenities, which will improve access through the scenic Cooran area from Pomona and circumnavigate nearby Mt Cooroora.

“By improving access to Noosa’s stunning trails network, we’re committed to helping draw back visitors, revitalise the hospitality and accommodation sectors, and create local jobs at a time when they are needed more than ever.”

Minister for Emergency Management David Littleproud said the project is one of six supported through the $36.8 million Local Economic Recovery (LER) program for Queensland, which is jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

“The Queensland Bushfires in 2019 had a devastating effect on communities throughout Queensland,” Minister Littleproud said.

“The recovery from these fires was made that much harder by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has impacted all sectors, including tourism and agriculture, as well as small businesses who were already struggling through drought.

“The Commonwealth and Queensland Governments remain committed to helping communities recover following natural disaster, and these projects will produce enduring benefits and improve future resilience.

“The six projects announced today benefit from the first round of funding under the program, with more than $30 million in future investment still to come.”

The Queensland LER Program is open to local governments and Queensland Government departments and agencies for projects in the Bundaberg, Gladstone, Gympie, Ipswich, Livingstone, Lockyer Valley, Mareeba, Noosa, Scenic Rim, Somerset, Southern Downs, Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba local government areas.

The program is administered by the QRA on behalf of the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments.

The Local Economic Recovery process focuses on community involvement in identifying projects so local needs can be reflected and the funding can be put to the best use. Some projects will have contributions from councils as part of the community-led approach and collaboration across all levels of government.

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