Applications open soon for $250 million bushfire recovery fund for nine areas in the New England

23rd Oct 2020

Applications will open soon for a $250 million program to fund Bushfire Local Economic Recovery projects across New South Wales, including in the New England.

Businesses and communities in Armidale, Glen Innes Severn, Gwydir, Inverell, Tamworth, Tenterfield, Upper Hunter, Uralla and Walcha local government areas, can apply from 27 October, 2020 for grants co-funded by the Australian and NSW governments.

Mr Joyce said the support will provide a social and economic boost in NSW communities who were most severely affected by the Black Summer bushfires.

"Recovery needs to be locally led, with money invested in the things that matter here in the New England and that’s what this Bushfire Local Economic Recovery program is all about,” Mr Joyce said.

“Grants of between $200,000 and $20 million will be available to organisations such as councils, businesses, joint organisations, business chambers, charities, local Aboriginal Land Councils and state government agencies to deliver successful projects. 

“Applications open soon so it’s time to get your ideas ready.   Get together and consider what’s needed to boost your community, your local economy in the New England.”

This funding was in addition to grants of $250,000 each recently announced for Tenterfield, Glen Innes Severn, Armidale Regional and Walcha councils under Phase 2 of the NSW Bushfire Community Recovery and Resilience Fund (BCRRF).

Under this Fund, grants for social recovery and preparedness projects between $20,000 and $300,000 were also available to the broader community in bushfire-affected areas including community groups, joint organisations, NGOs and not-for-profits. 

Federal Minister for Emergency Management, David Littleproud, said COVID-19 had made bushfire recovery that much harder, but bushfire-affected communities have not been forgotten. 

“It’s not an easy road, but this funding for locally-identified bushfire recovery projects is another step in the right direction, to help communities get back on their feet.

“Overall, governments have set aside more than $500 million for bushfire recovery projects in New South Wales, so this $250 million program is only the start.  I look forward to seeing what project ideas people come up with and the benefits that will flow long term.”

Additional to this open call for project proposals, shovel-ready projects are already being identified in bushfire-affected areas so they can be fast tracked to provide community and economic benefit as quickly as possible.  Information about these projects will be released in coming weeks. 

Funding for Local Economic Recovery projects is just one of the initiatives supported by the Australian Government’s National Bushfire Recovery Fund, which is worth more than $2 billion.  To date, more than $1.8 billion in Australian Government support has been provided to help bushfire affected communities, including $1.2 billion spent so far from the National Bushfire Recovery Fund. 

Applications for Bushfire Local Economic Recovery funding open on 27 October, 2020. 

For more information, including guidelines, visit www.nsw.gov.au/blerfund