On 11 May 2020, the Australian Government announced over $650 million in funding to accelerate locally-led bushfire recovery.
Part of the $2 billion National Bushfire Recovery Fund, this package will support the delivery of local recovery plans and projects, help boost community wellbeing, assist forestry industries, strengthen telecommunications capabilities, and nurture native wildlife and habitats back to health.
Summary of $650 million bushfire recovery package
Local Economic Recovery and Complementary Projects Fund
Bushfire affected communities will share in $448.5 million from the Australian Government to support the delivery of local economic recovery plans and projects as part of the Local Economic Recovery and Complementary Projects Fund.
Projects could range from initiatives that promote economic activity and support community wellbeing, projects that focus on the landscape and water, replacing produce and stock, or building future resilience.
Community members should speak to their local council if they have ideas about recovery for their region that haven’t already been considered.
Local councils will work with their regional bushfire recovery coordinators and state governments to provide the National Bushfire Recovery Agency with a list of priority projects as soon as possible.
This approach will help communities to realise their own visions for recovery, with reinforcement from well-coordinated support from all levels of government.
Australia’s sustainable forestry industries will receive $15 million to help their immediate recovery from the bushfire crisis.
The funding will help with the additional transport costs of moving salvaged burnt logs to out-of-range processing mills and storage.
It is intended to help forest growers and plantation owners with high volumes of bushfire-affected trees that exceed the processing capacity or capability of local mills.
Individual wellbeing and social cohesion are critical to a successful and enduring recovery.
The Australian Government is backing Primary Health Networks with an additional $13.5 million in funding over two years to provide critical, localised support for bushfire affected individuals to ensure their emotional and mental wellbeing.
Native wildlife and habitats
Our species and landscapes will benefit from a $149.7 million injection that supports on-ground action to protect native species and build knowledge for better land management.
This funding will support efforts that go beyond the immediate devastation of species and natural assets through habitat regeneration, waterway and catchment restoration including erosion control, weed and pest management.
The funding will be available to communities and organisations from 1 July 2020.
Telecommunications Emergency Resilience
The Australian Government is committed to strengthening telecommunications capabilities before the next bushfire season.
The support, worth $27.1 million, will include the deployment of approximately 2000 satellite phones, plus batteries and solar panels, to rural fire depots and evacuation centres.
This measure will improve community resilience and our ability to respond to future natural disasters.