Fire-affected Wide Bay communities eligible for a share in $280 million bushfire recovery funding

Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Llew O’Brien is encouraging organisations in the local government areas of Noosa, Gympie, Fraser Coast and South Burnett to consider applying for a share of $280 million for projects to assist in bushfire recovery.

Mr O’Brien said the Australian Government has released guidelines for the Black Summer Bushfire Recovery (BSBR) grants program, which will provide funding directly to fire-affected communities to help in their ongoing recovery after the 2019-20 bushfires.

Grants of between $20,000 and $10 million are available, covering up to 100 per cent of eligible project expenditure.

“This grants program is a great opportunity for the Wide Bay’s bushfire-affected communities to invest in recovery and resilience, through projects that address the social and economic needs of their community,” Mr O’Brien said.

“There’s broad scope within this program and suitable initiatives can include projects to create or support local jobs; promote interstate or overseas trade such as rebuilding infrastructure to support commercial activities, or tourism-related activities; right through to projects that enhance the cultural life of the community; address health impacts of the fires; or benefit of Indigenous people or communities.

“I encourage local organisations to look at the guidelines, consider their community’s needs and start planning projects – you know your local area best, so have a think about what a share of this funding could be used for that would really benefit your community and help with recovery.”

Applications open 22 July 2021 and close on 2 September 2021.

Workshops to assist applicants with the grant process will be available in person and online from mid July.

The Government has committed more than $2 billion to bushfire recovery support and these grants will help communities continue their bushfire recovery journey.  

Coordinator-General for the National Recovery and Resilience Agency, the Hon Shane L Stone AC QC said the grants are for projects that boost community recovery and at the same time help minimise the impact of future natural disasters.

“We know it takes time for communities to move forward after a disaster, and the impact of the Black Summer bushfires is still deeply felt,” Mr Stone said.

“True to my agency’s guiding principle of ‘locally led, locally understood and locally implemented’, we have designed this program to be as simple and flexible as possible, so recovering communities to can develop local projects that make sense to them.”

Grants can range from $20,000 to $10 million and are open to community organisations, businesses and councils in Local Government Areas that were disaster-declared as a result of the 2019-20 bushfires.

The Black Summer Bushfire Grants program is part of the National Bushfire Recovery Fund. The National Recovery and Resilience Agency administers the grants. For more information and workshop details visit recovery.gov.au/black-summer-grants.

Guidelines and the preview application form are available from the Business Grants Hub at https://business.gov.au/bsbr