More federal money for bushfire-hit councils

Image shows the front entrance to the Australian Parliament House.

On 13 February, the Federal Government announced an additional $17m for the 60 Local Governments in bushfire-affected areas.

The grants range from $200,000 to $416,667 and are in addition to the funds the Federal Government announced on 9 January for these 60 councils in NSW, VIC, SA and QLD.

The Federal Government said all councils have been notified and will be able to use the money for works such as replacing fences and other damaged council assets, as well as organising activities that bring communities together.

The 60 Local Government Areas are listed for Category C assistance as of 24 January 2020 under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements, the National Bushfire Recovery Agency said.

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, David Littleproud MP,  “has listened to the National Bushfire Recovery Agency’s advice on the funding and its allocation and moved quickly to agree the additional $17m to assist councils in the recovery effort,”  Recovery Coordinator Andrew Colvin APM OAM said.

“In determining allocations to LGAs my agency took into account a range of information including population, the volume of disaster recovery payments already received, the proportion of land area burnt and social economic factors of the LGA.”

Coordinator Colvin visited the fire hit communities of Wyndham and Kiah (Bega Valley Shire Council, NSW) on 13 February with the NSW Government Member for Bega and Minister for Transport and Roads, Andrew Constance MP, and NSW Government recovery agencies.

“After listening to locals it’s clear that telecommunications are an issue,” Coordinator Colvin said on Facebook.

“I’ll be working with providers to improve infrastructure resilience in isolated areas and help with their bushfire recovery.”