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Local Recovery Projects

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On 11 May 2020, the Australian Government announced $448.5 million in Local Economic Recovery (LER) and Complementary Projects funding. This money is helping bushfire-affected communities restore local economies and build back better, and it is supported by additional co-funding contributions from states.

LER projects will bring employment and other benefits to communities - creating jobs, attracting visitors and helping key local industries. 

Part of a broader funding picture

LER funding is just one of the initiatives supported by the Australian Government’s National Bushfire Recovery Fund, which is worth more than $2 billion. 
Other Commonwealth and state programs focus on disaster response and disaster relief to help individuals get back on their feet, particularly in terms of accommodation and emergency support.
Together, the mix of programs delivered under the National Bushfire Recovery Fund aim to meet the short-term needs of individuals and businesses, while at the same time building sustainable and resilient communities for the longer term.

Local recovery under LER

The LER funding supports locals to lead recovery in their area. With our state and local partners, we can make sure support goes to where it’s needed. By partnering with state governments to co-fund projects, the NBRA can maximise funding available to affected communities.
We know it takes time for communities to move forward after a disaster. The most effective approach to long-term social and economic recovery is to:

  • listen to the advice of the local communities who know what is best for their recovery
  • support local recovery priorities.

A collaborative, well-coordinated, and flexible approach to recovery is key.

The process for funding LER projects

State governments are running the process of identifying the right projects to meet community needs, in line with national criteria agreed among states and the NBRA. These criteria are set out in our LER Frequently Asked Questions.

The process is a bit different in each state – some are doing an open call for project ideas, while others are working directly with local recovery committees and councils on local priorities. 

Projects are being assessed and announced progressively. Some information is below about how it works in your area and the projects funded so far.

New South Wales

Joint Local Economic Recovery funding from the Australian and New South Wales governments will support projects that drive local economic, community and industry recovery in parts of New South Wales hit hard by the 2019-20 bushfires. This joint funding is being delivered in two ways:

  • Known priority community and industry recovery projects have been identified by the NSW Government and agreed to by the Australian Government, following local and industry consultation. This includes the 71 projects announced in November 2020.
  • Applications were open from 27 October 2020 to 28 January 2021 for project funding under the $250 million Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund. Communities were encouraged to apply for grants of between $200,000 and $20 million. Grants were open to organisations such as councils, Joint Organisations of Councils, not-for-profit organisations, business chambers, industry associations and charities, research or academic oranisations, State Government Corporations and Local Aboriginal Land Councils to deliver successful projects. Applications are currently being assessed. Successful projects are expected to be announced in the coming months. For more information, visit www.nsw.gov.au/blerfund.

Projects funded in NSW

71 NSW projects were announced in November 2020. These are:

  • Almost $9.7 million to upgrade and install new infrastructure in Casino to develop a 13-hectare industrial park facilitating the growth and expansion of local industry in the Richmond Valley. The project will help create new jobs, diversify the local economy and encourage innovative enterprises to establish themselves in the region.
  • $3.6 million to deliver an engineered coastal sea wall in Nambucca. The work will protect community assets, provide a community space, and support growth in the region, improving the long term liveability of the Nambucca region.
  • More than $3.05 million to the Port Macquarie Hastings Bicentennial Walkway Sections project to help fund a walkway with vital pedestrian links into the heart of town.
  • $1.1 million to fund the refurbishment and improvement of the Walcha community swimming pool. It will deliver solar heating, water management, and improved user facilities for the community. 
  • $8.25 million to deliver an expansion and refurbishment of Saxby Stadium in Taree, creating the larger Iron Arena with three additional multi-purpose courts suitable for sports such as basketball and futsal, and the installation of 1,300 spectator seats to create a show court.
  • $1.68 million for Hawkesbury Community improvement projects to help fund an all-age access park, recreation and sporting facilities, markets and art installations across Bilpin, St Albans and Colo Heights. 
  • $8 million for the first stage of a new sporting and recreation facility for residents on the south coast in the Shoalhaven. This project will provide facilities to host major regional and national sporting tournaments, as well as a space to support social recovery and build community connections.
  • $1.75 million to fund 19 new boat berths in Ulladulla Harbour for commercial and recreational craft, improving access for visitors and locals to the natural tourism the region has to offer. The project's outcome will enhance its tourism assets and address a local recovery priority. 
  • $5.25 million project to deliver a 30-kilometre accessible walking track and lookout heading south from Batemans Bay. The project will deliver a tourism highlight for visitors to the region, boosting the local nature-based tourism economy.
  • $2.5 million to fund a series of developments and upgrades at the Braidwood Heritage Centre. The project will encourage tourism in the Braidwood community, making a significant heritage attraction, leveraging the stories of the community, and supporting the region’s recovery.
  • $3 million to rebuild community halls in Kiah, Wandella and Tumbarumba which were destroyed or damaged in the Black Summer bushfires. This work will provide social assets that will help the recovery of these impacted communities.
  • $12.5 million to upgrade the Tumut Aerodrome. This will help facilitate fire-fighting capabilities and permit air-ambulance access to the regional centre, improving the liveability and resilience of this region.  
  • More than $3.8 million to upgrade accommodation, recreation and commercial infrastructure at the Dumaresq Dam to support tourism and provide employment opportunities.
  • $2 million to extend the walking track alongside Goulburn’s historic Wollondilly River to increase the health and wellbeing of residents and support tourism.
  • $8.2 million to overhaul the well-loved Casino Showground and Racecourse, increasing venue capacity and allowing it to host major national and international equestrian competitions and other high profile events.
  • $2 million to improve resilience of power and communications in the Shoalhaven region, by facilitating development of micro-grids in place of existing and fire-damaged power infrastructure and delivering back-up communication connectivity through satellite digital communication.
  • More than $11 million to build a Macleay Valley Skydiving Adventure Park. It will deliver indoor rock-climbing facilities, training facilities, a canopy piloting hanger, swoop pond, accommodation and amenities, enhancing the region’s tourism offerings.
  • $8 million to upgrade the severely fire and flood damaged Wombeyan Caves Road at Bullio, allowing tourist and local traffic to more easily access the region, its landmarks and attractions such as Wombeyan Caves.
  • $3 million to provide the Rappville community with a packaged sewage treatment plant, replacing the current individual systems for each property. The project is intended to support the growth and liveability of the town as it continues its recovery.
  • More than $2.7 million to provide a new roundabout at Shores Drive in Yamba to ease traffic congestion and support tourism and local economic conditions in the region
  • $1 million to develop a shared-pathway and improvements along the Farmers Creek green belt, improving accessibility and developing green spaces and liveability in the Lithgow community.
  • Almost $5 million to replace and extend facilities and amenities at the Livestock selling centres in Armidale and Guyra, supporting the recovery of the key agricultural sector in the region.
  • $131,000 to help Macleay River Farm Oysters in Kempsey Shire create an automated oyster grading and processing facility on the Macleay River. This will provide a solid platform to grow current production of Sydney Rock oysters.
  • More than $300,000 to The Beekeeper's Honey in Kempsey Shire, to install a modern, B-QUAL accredited honey packing facility and related equipment. The resulting facility will also provide a new contract packing service to other NSW beekeepers. 
  • More than $107,000 to Macleay River Haulage in Kempsey Shire to purchase safe and effective machinery that will produce bulk firewood.
  • More than $742,000 for a project in the Richmond Valley area, to ensure the long-term viability of the Rappville sawmill, upgrade equipment and infrastructure to expand capability and provide ongoing employment in the industry. It will involve the replacement, upgrade or adaptation of existing plant and equipment including technology or energy efficiency upgrades.
  • $10 million in Clarence Valley Shire to help Big River Group relocate key assets (people and plant) to Grafton and invest in critical new technical equipment to enhance capability and capacity. The outcome will be a sustainable, value add business utilising available wood resources in Northern NSW to produce technical and specialty timber products for the market.
  • $2.5 million to Clarence Valley Council to upgrade a series of currently unsealed sections of the Clarence Way to the south from Keybarbin to Flagstone Creek, with the objective of supporting local agricultural and forestry industry operations. The project will improve access to markets via safe and reliable road access for freight, local businesses and the local community.
  • More than $275,000 in the Tamworth area to help Arc-en-Ciel Rainbow Trout upgrade infrastructure. The project will create efficient hatching and growing infrastructure with monitoring and control systems and upgrade the processing plant. This will help retain and create jobs, and enabling the business to become sustainable for the long term.
  • More than $500,000 for the Hurford Wood Supply Recovery Project in Kyogle Council area, to provide capacity to replant quickly with well suited native tree varieties and rehabilitate these devastated natural assets.
  • More than $1.5 million to Boral Timber to deliver an innovative and pioneering small-scale bio-energy reactor at the Kyogle mill.  Improving energy efficiency at the mill will support its continued viability, reducing costs and providing an alternative income source by providing energy to the grid during non-operational hours.
  • $455,000 for a project in the Port Macquarie-Hastings area, to install a new integrated system in Hayden Timbers hardwood sawmill. The new system will provide new technology, improve production efficiencies and improve employee safety. It will cater for a change in log supply and type as result of the impact of the bush fires in 2019 and 2020.
  • More than $585,000 to the Hunter Valley Wine and Tourism Association, to sustain the sector and ensure the industry remains viable in the longer term, by harnessing innovation, business diversification and market expansion.
  • $194,000 to Snives Hives to establish a Meadery to make and wholesale honey wine on the Central Coast of NSW. The process of fermenting the honey is a value-adding process to raw honey. It provides for market expansion and product diversification in the apiculture industry, which will aid in industry sustainability and growth.
  • $456,000 to Yarraman Wybong Vineyard in Muswellbrook Shire Council, to deliver increased and diversified production, provide facilities for workers and increase the capacity to market and export grape and olive produce. The project is supporting economic diversification and employment opportunities in the region.
  • $1.23 million for a project in the Hawksbury area, to help Bilpin Fruit Bowl clean-up, replace and upgrade existing fire damaged infrastructure and develop a new 8000 square metre energy efficient hot house that will allow for undercover "Pick Your Own" strawberries. This project will diversify the enterprise and allow production to extend to 12 months a year.
  • More than $1.1 million to TNT Produce in the Hawksbury region, to build a 500 square meter colour bond shed to facilitate entry to the orchard for pick your own fruit, and purchase additional equipment to assist with the expected increase in the crop coming from rebuilding of the orchard.
  • $390,000 for a project in Wingecarribee Shire Council, to help Southern Honey establish a commercial queen bee breeding capability in order to support rebuilding, restocking and future development of the NSW Apiary industry in the Southern Highlands.
  • $50,000 to Wingecarribee Shire Council for a Southern Highlands Produce Hub Feasibility Study. The study will determine the long term resilience benefits to producers within the Southern Highlands and surrounds of being able to move produce to national and international markets from a transfer hub set up on a main transport corridor. A hub could provide significant economies of scale for the small to medium term producers.
  • $260,000 for a project in Wingecarribee Shire, to grow the Southern Highlands Food & Wine Festival event which offers dynamic representation of the industry’s four key industry sectors –  Beer, Wine, Spirits, Food.
  • $80,000 to The Loch in Wingecarribee Shire for a Growers & Producers Industry Development Project. It will help growers and producers improve production and marketing in bushfire impacted regions across NSW, through communications, workshops, mentoring, skills training and events designed to address knowledge gaps and strengthen market opportunities.
  • More than $137,000 to Boral Timber in the Shoalhaven region, for a project to install a second docking and packing line at the Nowra sawmill, specifically designed to produce short length green timber products. By diversifying the production at the mill it is increasing market opportunities and providing new employment for the region, driving economic growth and recovery.
  • $225,000 to McAsh Oysters in Eurobodalla Shire, to modernise and scale up oyster production and develop higher value markets for oysters in the Clyde River and NSW.
  • More than $1 million to RTG in Bega Valley Shire, for expansion of their wood pellet production line. The project is for the installation of a raw material wood fibre collection bunker and walking floor, biomass dryer and heat plant, raw material storage silo and a larger higher capacity wood pellet production plant (larger than existing pellet line) and automatic bagging line.
  • More than $945,000 to South East Fibre Exports in the Bega Valley Shire, to replace, upgrade and/or adapt the damaged Eden export chip facility. This project seeks to provide the necessary infrastructure to upgrade the site power distribution network, to allow for new developments and restoring the existing processing capacity.
  • $670,000 to Aljo Pastora dairy operations in Bega Valley Shire, for a project to upgrade and modernise production methods, providing an opportunity to diversify income streams, improve water-use efficiency at the site and build economic resilience. For the region the project will provide employment opportunities and help to strengthen a key industry and reduce the economic-impact of future natural disasters.
  • More than $180,000 to Pallet Collars Australia in Bega Valley Shire, to install an upgraded new pallet collar production line and new equipment, and fit a roof mounted fire suppression sprinkler system to prevent against bushfire ember attack.
  • $62,000 to Stirling Oysters in Bega Valley Shire, to support the development of the oyster export market from the Merimbula lake aquaculture region.
  • More than $170,000 for the Wonboyn River Shellfish Quality Assurance Program in Bega Valley Shire. This project will support the oyster farmers of Wonboyn to adapt farming methods in response to changing environmental conditions, enabling sustainability and growth of the industry. By replacing, upgrading and/or adapting existing plant and equipment, this project will assist in the repair of damaged infrastructure after the January 2020 bushfires.
  • $314,000 to Ryefield Hops in Bega Valley Shire for a project to increase on-site production, develop new products (including plant breeding and sales) and develop tourism opportunities. Site tours and tastings will encourage tourism to the region, helping economic recovery and supporting job growth.
  • $300,000 in Bega Valley Shire to help Broadwater Oysters develop new manufacturing processes by transforming tray and floating basket aquaculture system into a 'Flip-Farm', to double production of Sydney Rock Oysters and generate local employment in the seafood sector.
  • $1.5 million to FM & JE Terlich in Bega Valley Shire for a dairy production modulated expansion model. The project will develop new manufacturing processes that extend dairy lines, expand the product range and double capacity. This contributes to additional employment, training opportunities and benefit to the community at large, providing a model for future boutique dairy processing facilities.
  • More than $337,000 to Courabyra Wines in Snowy Valleys, to extend the existing cellar door to develop a dedicated conference and wedding venue. The development will provide year-round seated capacity for an additional 120 visitors.
  • $10 million to Visy Pulp and Paper in Snowy Valleys, to install a Stacker Reclaimer system, an advanced wood fibre handling augmentation. This upgrade/adaption will lead to a material and transformational shift in the processing of plantation softwood resources, ensuring the sustainability and continued growth of the region’s forestry industry and jobs.
  • $418,000 to support the growth of Mount Tumbarumba Vineyard in Snowy Valleys, through construction of a contemporary cellar door, two boutique accommodation spaces, an outdoor area for functions and fit out enabling on-site café / function catering.
  • $991,000 to Ardrossan Nurseries in Snowy Valleys to develop a nursery which adopts the latest nursery practices to support fast track tree availability, including innovative growing practices and tissue cultures in tubes. It will strengthen the Batlow region’s agri-capability and competitive advantage as a growing region, expedite tree availability for Batlow’s apple industry recovery and ensure consistent tree quality at affordable prices. The flow-on benefits will increase economic activity and job security in the Batlow region.
  • $10 million to upgrade and modernise the Tumut Mill in Snowy Valleys, incorporating the latest technologies to increase production and reduce waste. When completed the project will support the recovery of the region’s timber industry, provide new job opportunities and support the local recovery.
  • $275,000 to the Snowy Mountains Forests Australia Trust in Snowy Valleys, to replace the existing bridge on Tarcutta Creek and Baga Creek with a new structure and locate another crossing at the western end of the plantation. The project will support the recovery of the forestry industry in the region, supporting job growth, safety and economic recovery.
  • More than $2.28 million to Seven Springs Orchard in Snowy Valleys, to support apple production as a key part of the horticulture industry in the region. Delivering modern, high-density production areas and making use of previously unproductive blocks, the project will support economic growth and work opportunities in the region as it recovers.
  • More than $43,000 to Tumbarumba Wines Escape in Snowy Valleys for a Tumbarumba Wines Escape cellar door refurbishment project. It will expand tourism facilities to support the region’s economic recovery and boost tourism and event opportunities.
  • $240,000 to the Tumbarumba Vignerons Association in Snowy Valleys, for Project Tumbarumba Rising Star. It will fund a 5-year Industry Development Plan, aiming to elevate the Tumbarumba wine brand to match that of Tasmania, Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley. The project will include education and skills upgrade of growers and winemakers, and fund activities to improve market distribution, brand awareness, and drive sales.
  • More than $3.95 million to Snowy Valleys Council to construct infrastructure at the Batlow Caravan Park to increase the amount of accommodation available for itinerant workers who are employed in the horticulture industry. This will address accommodation lost during the 2019-20 bushfires and meet demand for increased accommodation capacity so the horticulture industry can undertake recovery initiatives.
  • More than $3.5 million to develop a new cider manufacturing and distribution centre and tourism experience in Snowy Valleys Shire. The existing Apple Thief cider business will be relocated to Batlow, replacing current interstate contract fermentation and bottling arrangement with an integrated new cidery, using Batlow apples and providing new employment opportunities in Batlow.  A new specialist cider variety apple organic orchard will be established on site, as well as a 'hub' offering space for community and private events.
  • $480,000 to help Snowy Valleys Council repair the Wondalga Road junction which is an important part of the logistics network linking the softwood plantations of the Snowy Valleys Functional Economic Region with the world-scale sawmills and pulp mill of the region.
  • More than $300,000 to Australian Honeybee Enterprises to update and expand the processing and packaging capabilities of Gundagai Gold Honey, Beehive Beauty and Australian healing honeys.
  • More than $330,000 to the NSW Wine Industry Association to enable the NSW wine industry to more effectively manage the effects of fires and smoke in the future. The project will expand the resources, practical tools, technical knowledge, skills, and education of the industry, focussing on both grape and wine production.
  • More than $113,000 to the NSW Farmers Association to contribute towards a national marketing campaign by Oysters Australia, driving demand to facilitate sustainable growth.
  • $6 million to the Dairy Research Foundation, to develop an industry-driven 5-year research, development and extensions program of work to accelerate the recovery of the fire-affected NSW Dairy Industry and improve farm business resilience and the sustainability of the dairy supply chain.
  • More than $1.94 million to the University of Sydney, for a project to ‘future proof’ the NSW apiary industry and keep beekeepers in jobs. The outcomes of the project will improve confidence and investment in the NSW apiary industry, provide a pathway that secures additional native floral resources, increase beekeeper skills, and boost the apiary industry’s resilience and sustainability.
  • More than $1.1 million to the NSW Farmers Association to develop a ‘Responsible Oyster Farming Program’ – a series of short training modules aligned with the industry code of practice to upskill existing farmers or those entering the industry. This project will support the workforce needs of the aquaculture industry.
  • Over $514,000 to the NSW Farmers Association to design individual estuary/harvest area management plans to mitigate future bushfire and environmental impacts on the NSW oyster industry, to decrease closure days and provide practical advice on risk mitigation strategies during future bushfire related poor water quality events. It will model and assess water quality risks to harvesting in each estuary, and where data supports it, change harvest area management to reduce closure times. Research and development studies will be conducted.

Submissions for the Expressions of Interest closed on 7 September 2020. To learn more about the process and eligibility visit the Queensland Reconstruction Authority website

Six Queensland projects were announced in October 2020. These are:

  • $2,000,000 to design and construct a four-megalitre concrete potable water supply reservoir and associated infrastructure in Livingstone Shire Council.
  • $1,690,000 to open an underground water source near Chillagoe in Mareeba Shire Council.
  • $1,610,000 to improve and create new links within a priority section of Noosa’s hinterland trails network in Noosa Shire Council.
  • $67,500 to upgrade facilities in the Boonah Cultural and Community Hub in Scenic Rim Regional Council.
  • $250,000 to construct Stage 1 of the Mount Glen Rock Recreation and Nature Reserve development in Somerset Regional Council.
  • $385,000 to construct Stage 2 of the Mount Glen Rock Recreation and Nature Reserve development in in Somerset Regional Council.

A further 12 projects were announced in December 2020. The projects include:

  • $185,000 to employ a project officer in Gladstone to ensure community members are provided sufficient information and resources to enhance their disaster resilience.
  • $340,000 to enhance the fire trails in Harding's Paddock (Ipswich) which is also used as walking trails for the local community. The project includes construction of a new Kupmurri trail head and multi-use fire trails.
  • $280,000 to build a 'Fire Station 101 Business Incubation Hub' in Ipswich city, to be used by the council as its small business development hub and, in times of disaster, an Economic Recovery Centre for local business.
  • $500,000 to rebuild key common areas and accommodation facilities within the heritage listed Binna Burra Lodge.
  • $700,000 for upgrades to a range of community halls in the Lockyer Valley, which will also serve as emergency hubs in disasters.
  • $2,217,000 to upgrade the sewer main system on Mason Street in Mareeba to improve overall liveability and socio-economic conditions within the town. 
  • $1,894,000 to establish a Living FireTech Laboratory in Noosa.
  • $110,000 to reduce overgrown vegetation and clear fuel load near a number of rural connector roads that provide access to and around the Noosa Shire.
  • $1,900,000 million to upgrade the Morgan Park Warwick drag strip in the Southern Downs to a national standard 1/4 mile facility. 
  • $1,900,000 to replace a 3km stretch of 33,000 volt wooden poles, susceptible to fire, in a high fire risk area in Toowoomba.
  • $600,000 to upgrade the Vonda Youngman Community Centre in Scenic Rim, as a community hub and recovery centre.
  • $500,000 to enhance the pathway connection from Cooee Bay Beach to Wreck Point and Lammermoor Beach, including stairways, rest areas, boardwalk, a memorial bench seat and beach access.

A further nine projects were announced in January 2021. The projects include:

  • $2.77 million will support the environmental recovery project for the naturalisation of Washpool Creek, including revegetation to improve water quality and the planting of up to 20,000 trees.
  • $1.09 million will upgrade a number of water mains in Gympie to provide a secure and reliable water service for residents and enable the required water pressure for firefighting.
  • $310,000 will upgrade six community halls to provide spaces for communities to gather and connect, and so they can operate as recovery hubs during and after natural disasters in Scenic Rim.
  • $403,000 will upgrade existing facilities to improve the operation of the Moore Soldiers Memorial Hall, which is used as a community social venue and evacuation centre when required.
  • $478,000 will improve the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail user experience, with increased car and recreational vehicle parking at Fernvale and Esk, and enhancements to the overnight camp ground in Toogoolawah.
  • $1.5 million will fund Stage 2 of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail to upgrade multiple sites along the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail, including the addition of solar lighting and all-ability access.
  • $940,000 will fund the Smart Water Meters project in the Southern Downs by installation smart metering technology in Stanthorpe to better prepare the community for future climate and natural hazard conditions.
  • $1.33 million will fund a soft infrastructure initiative to maximise the use of regional sporting assets and industry capabilities for the Train Sunshine Coast initiative.
  • $106,000 will fund development of the Crows Nest Mountain Bike Mecca and Escarpment Escape Project. The trail network will boost eco-tourism.

The final 21 projects were announced in March 2021. The projects include:

  • $178,000 for additional mobile firefighting equipment in Bundaberg.
  • $30,000 to enhance the fire control lines adjacent to the Rainbow Beach Township within the Cooloola and Great Sandy National Parks.
  • $205,000 to enhance the fire control lines on Bribie Island and build walking trails.
  • $47,000 to enhance the fire control lines adjacent to the Cooloola Cove area within the Cooloola and Great Sandy National Parks. 
  • $204,000 to enhance the fire control lines adjacent to the Mareeba, Biboohra and Koah, which border the Bilwon State Forest.
  • $132,000 to upgrade 2.5km of walking tracks and visitor signage in Conservation Park to halt erosion and encourage local tourism.
  • $701,000 to upgrade tourism infrastructure in Great Sandy National Park (Cooloola) including public campsite facilities and the Cooloola Great Walk.
  • $495,000 to upgrade Stoney Creek Road, a key national park and state forest access road, providing reliable and safe access to visitors and supporting growth of tourism.
  • $1,612,000 to replace a timber bridge on Bindaree Road in Miriam Vale.
  • $585,000 to replace an old timber bridge with a stronger concrete bridge on Ryan road in Gympie.
  • $630,000 to replace an old timber bridge with a stronger concrete bridge on Glastonbury Creek road in Gympie.
  • $837,000 to replace an old timber bridge with a stronger concrete bridge on Widgee Crossing road in Gympie.
  • $262,000 to support disaster planning, response capability and resilience of Ipswich residents.
  • $425,000 to install digital signage to help direct people to local events, and tourist and recreational opportunities within the Lockyer Valley.
  • $30,000 to develop and deliver a 12-week business support webinar program for businesses on the Scenic Rim.
  • $46,000 to help local businesses and industries grow and develop through the Scenic Rim Supply Chain Capability Program.
  • $2,142,000 to refurbish and enhance the recovery services of the Tamborine Mountain Library on the Scenic Rim.
  • $400,000 to engage a Local Business Recovery Officer to liaise directly with local businesses and tourism operators, to facilitate recovery initiatives and promote regional development and investment opportunities.
  • $1,300,000 to provide the opportunity for up to 44 people to participate in environmental recovery teams to develop skills, gain accredited training, and contribute to the recovery of the local environment.
  • $222,000 to engage a Community Development and Resilience Officer to provide social support and community development services.
  • $240,000 to undertake infrastructure improvements along the Yarraman to Nukku section of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail, boosting tourism and local recreation opportunities.
South Australia

In South Australia, the state government is is working through a range of proposed LER projects, following consultation with local councils, recovery committees, communities and other stakeholders in bushfire-affected areas. Projects already announced include:

  • $19.8 million for Kangaroo Island’s new desalination plant which will improve water security, support industries and provide long-term social and economic recovery.
  • $150,000 to help restore the Lobethal Bushland Park. The money will help rebuild play spaces, picnic areas, walking trail infrastructure and native vegetation that was lost in last summer’s fires. More projects are expected to be considered in the coming weeks. 

12 projects were announced on February 24 2021. The projects include: 

  • $3 million to develop the former Onkaparinga Woollen Mills at Lobethal to create a hub supporting creative industries, increasing tourism, creating jobs and providing opportunities for learning and social connection. 
  • $900,000 to establish a small-scale fibre mill enabling processing of raw fibre to quality yarn and finished garments on Kangaroo Island. 
  • $395,000 to grow wellness tourism in South Australia by supporting operators who provide nature-based and agri-tourism experiences or other wellness tourism experiences or products. 
  • $315,000 towards a collaborative industry rebuilding and resilience project on Kangaroo Island.
  • $2.5 million to rebuild existing trails and enhance facilities and infrastructure of the Fox Creek Bike Park at Cudlee Creek. 
  • More than $8.9 million towards a collaborative package of projects that will support rural landholders recover and build back better agriculture on Kangaroo Island and across Adelaide Hills and Mt Barker. 
  • Nearly $954,000 to compliment an existing project providing accommodation for supervisors and management personnel working on recovery efforts on Kangaroo Island. 
  • $680,000 to support the South Australian Apiary Industry through pollinator species revegetation information, honey variety and value awareness, and eco-tourism initiatives. 
  • More than $5.9 million towards vineyard and horticulture rebuilding and resilience, including Cherries and Olives, across Adelaide Hills, Cudlee Creek and Kangaroo Island. 
  • More than $2.6 million to provide open-access telecommunication infrastructure, increasing internet coverage and capacity on Kangaroo Island. 
  • $800,000 to establish accommodation, suitable for tradespeople and seasonal workers at Parndana on Kangaroo Island. 
  • $1.8 million to construct an Early Childhood Education and Care Centre in Parndana to support families in the central and western part of Kangaroo Island, particularly those directly affected by the Black Summer Bushfires. 

In Victoria, the Local Economic Recovery has two streams, with 40 per cent of the funding dedicated to the local community stream and 60 per cent to the regional economic stream. In the local community stream, there will be several rounds of Local Community Project Grants. The regional economic stream is made up of a Regional Economic Programs Fund and a single round of Regional Economic Stimulus and Resistance Grants. 

Communities have been consulted on the design of the program, to ensure it helps support their recovery priorities and gives them enough time to get their project proposals right. 

For information on the LER process and eligibility in Victoria, visit the Victoria Local Economic Recovery Program page.

Projects funded

Five Victorian projects, which are also supported by other third party funding contributions, were announced in October 2020. These are:

  • $1,080,075 to begin work upgrading existing community facilities across East Gippsland, such as public halls and recreation reserve buildings, so they better meet the needs of communities. There will be works such as ember proofing, electrical upgrades and satellite communication and WIFI upgrades at community halls and facilities right across the region, including Wairewa Hall, Genoa Public Hall, Clifton Creek Community Public Hall, Ensay Memorial Hall and more.
  • $190,000 to restore and expand the Cudgewa tennis facility to provide the community with low cost space for recreation, community gatherings and events to build and sustain community connection.
  • $128,700 to re-establish a tree-lined avenue in Tintaldra commemorating the sacrifice and service of residents in World War I and the township’s local heroism and resilience during the 2020 bushfires.
  • $120,000 to build a 19.5 metre pedestrian bridge joining Harrietville with the east branch of the Ovens, to support tourism and mobility.
  • $40,000 to create three large murals in Mount Beauty to reflect community pride and create a significant new point of interest for tourists traveling through the town.

Initiatives funded under the Regional Economic Programs Fund were announced in December 2020:

  • $2,100,000 for On-farm Recovery Support Services, linking farmers with dedicated agricultural recovery experts to assist with pasture recovery, ground cover management and revegetation, soil health, erosion, farm water supplies and quality, risk and resilience planning (including fire preparedness), and mental health and wellbeing.
  • $1,960,000 for the Gippsland and High-Country Visitor Reactivation Program, providing additional funds for Tourism North East and Destination Gippsland for industry support and promotion after bushfires and COVID-19.
  • $1,280,000 for the Victorian Apprenticeship Bushfire Recovery Program to create 40 new apprenticeship and traineeship positions for young people in East Gippsland and the North East.
  • $1,000,000 for a Microenterprise Development Program, based on a successful pilot program in the Latrobe Valley, providing coaching, mentoring, microfinance access and other resources to support sole traders.
  • $1,000,000 for the Taungurung Bushfire Recovery Economic Prosperity Program, supporting Aboriginal cultural tourism opportunities on Taungurung Country (in the North East) and establishing the regional cultivation of mountain pepper – an in-demand ‘superfood’ used by Aboriginal people for generations.
  • $500,000 to expand Growing Regional Opportunities for Work (GROW) Gippsland, a collaborative program owned by local businesses which redirects procurement spend towards local suppliers and creates jobs through inclusive employment.
  • $160,000 to support Creative Victoria’s Regional Collections Digitisation Roadshow, for the preservation of precious documents and objects in bushfire-prone regions.

Fifteen projects funded in Round One of the Local Community Project Grants were announced in January 2021 and are listed below. 

  • More than $470,000 will be invested in the Walwa Services Memorial Hall Revitalisation Project, supporting upgrades to the building’s utilities and standalone emergency refuge functions so it has the necessary amenities and facilities required for an emergency relief centre. 
  • More than $540,000 will be invested in the Towong Soldiers “Our Place" project, to refurbish the Towong Soldiers Memorial Hall, including upgrades to make the hall a more accessible and comfortable meeting place. 
  • $800,000 will be invested in the Upper Murray Place Based Power Plan - Energy Nodes Project to help protect against power outages in various towns across Towong Shire. The project will help install Energy Nodes (consisting of solar power, batteries, generators and smart energy controllers) for key community assets.
  • More than $380,000 will be invested in the Game, Set, Match - Corryong Tennis Hub project. The project will upgrade the facility to an eight-court central tennis hub for the Upper Murray region that can accommodate more players in one location, offer adult and children's tournaments, and host a summer competition.
  • More than $295,000 will support the Kergunyah Hall Upgrades project to allow greater inclusion for elderly, less mobile community members or those with a disability. The work includes upgrading the kitchen to allow for catering for community events (when allowed) and in times of crisis, and improving accessibility access to the whole hall. 
  • $189,000 will go to the Jean Francois Rupp Ta Alpine Nature Experience, to help improve the current surface and drainage on Possum loop track and Dargo lookout trail. The work will allow use of the trail all year round, encouraging more visitors to the region. 
  • More than $426,000 will be invested to help develop a multi-purpose community facility in Tambo Crossing.
  • More than $184,000 will fund major upgrades to the Genoa Tennis Courts to accommodate basketball and netball.
  • More than $118,000 will fund the Buchan Gelantipy and District Renewal Community connection and resilience program, including improving the Wulgulmerang sports ground, Gelantipy hall, Buchan recreation reserve and the Buchan Hall.
  • $115,000 will upgrade the Marlo Triangle Park playground.
  • $75,000 will upgrade the Nowa Nowa Boat ramp to allow access all year round.
  • $341,600 will upgrade the Omeo Rodeo facility to host more frequent events.
  • $140,000 to fund a position to support recovery and resilience building for children with additional needs and their families in East Gippsland.
  • More than $924,000 will revitalise and modernise community facilities at Livingstone Park in Omeo.
  • More than $114,000 will repair and upgrade Swan Reach netball courts damaged when the recreation reserve was used as a base for firefighting operations.

Round Two applications for LER local community grants will open on Monday 15 March 2021. 

Initiatives funded under the Regional Economic Programs Fund were announced in December 2020:

  • $2,100,000 for On-farm Recovery Support Services, linking farmers with dedicated agricultural recovery experts to assist with pasture recovery, ground cover management and revegetation, soil health, erosion, farm water supplies and quality, risk and resilience planning (including fire preparedness), and mental health and wellbeing.
  • $1,960,000 for the Gippsland and High-Country Visitor Reactivation Program, providing additional funds for Tourism North East and Destination Gippsland for industry support and promotion after bushfires and COVID-19.
  • $1,280,000 for the Victorian Apprenticeship Bushfire Recovery Program to create 40 new apprenticeship and traineeship positions for young people in East Gippsland and the North East.
  • $1,000,000 for a Microenterprise Development Program, based on a successful pilot program in the Latrobe Valley, providing coaching, mentoring, microfinance access and other resources to support sole traders.
  • $1,000,000 for the Taungurung Bushfire Recovery Economic Prosperity Program, supporting Aboriginal cultural tourism opportunities on Taungurung Country (in the North East) and establishing the regional cultivation of mountain pepper – an in-demand ‘superfood’ used by Aboriginal people for generations.
  • $500,000 to expand Growing Regional Opportunities for Work (GROW) Gippsland, a collaborative program owned by local businesses which redirects procurement spend towards local suppliers and creates jobs through inclusive employment.
  • $160,000 to support Creative Victoria’s Regional Collections Digitisation Roadshow, for the preservation of precious documents and objects in bushfire-prone regions.

20 projects were announced in February 2021 under the Regional Economic Stimulus and Resilience Grants. The projects will boost jobs, tourism and economic activity in areas highly impacted by the Black Summer bushfires. They are listed below.

Regional economic stimulus projects in East Gippsland include: 

  •  $3 million to help rebuild the Mallacoota Abalone processing facility, which was impacted by fire.
  • $2.8 million to revitalise and improve the Buchan streetscape.
  • $2.35 million to help relocate and expand Sailors Grave Brewing to develop agri- tourism through relocation and expansion.
  • $1.5 million to support the first stage of the Metung Hot Springs tourism development.
  • More than $1 million to enhance the Bruthen streetscape.
  • More than $850,000 for Envite Environment to create trainee opportunities for young indigenous people to pursue careers in natural resource management.
  • $562,000 for the redevelopment of the iconic Old Slipway in lakes Entrance.
  • $400,000 for Tambo Valley Honey to develop an agri-tourism experience and destination honey shop.
  • $267,000 for Destination Gippsland to develop tourism product along a Gippsland Dark Skies Visitor Trail.
  • $190,000 to help redevelop and expand the Riviera Nautic jetty infrastructure.

Regional economic stimulus projects in Victoria’s North East include: 

  • $5 million to boost tourism infrastructure and visitation along the Great River Road.
  • $2.6 million for new and upgraded infrastructure along the Dargo High Plains Road.
  • $2.17 million to support Upper Murray Inc’s plan to protect communities against power outages and reduce running costs.
  • $1.35 million for Mansfield Autism Statewide Services to develop on-site family accommodation units.
  • $870,000 for Wines of the King Valley to develop a smoke sensor network that will help wine makers make informed decisions.
  • $600,000 to help redevelop the iconic Alpine Hotel in Bright.
  • $375,000 for a cycle tourism and accommodation redevelopment in Bright.

Economic stimulus projects funded in Victoria’s Alpine Resorts to support sustainable bushfire recovery include:

  • $2.5 million for Falls Creek Alpine Resort to redevelop the lakeside trailhead and foreshore to assist growing water sport activation.
  • $2.5 million to develop the Mt Hotham Snow Play and Activity Hub.
  • $2 million to develop the Dinner Plain recreation reserve and village centre.

How can I find out more?

See the national information in our Frequently Asked Questions.

We’ll provide regular updates on LER co-funding and state government processes, as well as successful projects, through the NBRA newsletter as they become available.