Funding to reduce natural disaster risk and build resilience in Cherbourg

Cherbourg will prepare to beat this summer’s bushfire season thanks to an Australian Government grant of $89,450.
 
Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Llew O’Brien said the Cherbourg community knows what it needs when it comes to reducing their level of risk to bushfires.
 
“It shouldn’t be up to a bureaucrat in Canberra to decide how to beat bushfires in Cherbourg. We are funding Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council because they have local knowledge and experience to reduce the natural disaster risk level in their patch,” Mr O’Brien said.
 
“This funding helps improve Cherbourg’s local disaster preparedness and reduces the cost to the community and taxpayers through projects that build resilience.”
 
The funding will be delivered through the Preparing Australian Communities Program, an investment by the Liberal Nationals Government of $600 million over six years to build the nation’s resilience to natural disasters. 
 
The Cherbourg Fire Mitigation Project 2022 was one of 158 projects across the country that shared $150 million from the Commonwealth Government.
 
“Disasters currently cost Australian taxpayers $18.2 billion per year and it’s expected to rise to $39 billion per year by 2050, even without increased frequency and intensity of weather events,” Mr O’Brien said. 
 
“This funding is designed to prepare the Cherbourg community against the risk of bushfire, through a range of risk-reduction projects, including firebreaks, prescribed burns, tree lopping, removing fuel loads and delivering a community education awareness campaign about bushfire hazards and the need for disaster preparedness.”
 
Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council CEO Chatur Zala said the council would work closely with the local fire services to assist in back-burning and clearing major roads to ensure road access during a fire, particularly for fire trucks and emergency vehicles. 
 
“It’s been a very wet season which has left us with a high fuel load around access roads into remote locations, as well as in the Wondai State Forest behind us, so it is essential for bushfire defence that we remove undergrowth, create fire breaks into remote locations, and undertake prescribed burns to create a fire break around the community,” Mr Zala said.
 
Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience Bridget McKenzie said the Liberal and Nationals Government wants communities to be as prepared for and protected from the threat of natural disasters, as much as possible.
 
“We know that we can’t disaster-proof the entire nation. However, by delivering this program, our Government is increasing disaster preparedness and resilience and reducing the costs in both time and money of recovery following future disasters. By reducing disaster risk, it’s also anticipated that this investment will encourage reductions in insurance premiums,” Minister McKenzie said. 
  
For more information and a complete list of projects funded under Round One of the Preparing Australian Communities Program – Local stream, visit: https://recovery.gov.au/disaster-risk-reduction/preparing-australia-program