Pat Conaghan MP

New $250M bushfire recovery grants program to open 27 October

Joint media release

Councils, businesses and communities in bushfire impacted regions have access to a new fund for local infrastructure and initiatives that will drive economic and social recovery, strengthen morale and help communities continue to recover.

Federal Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan has welcomed the $250 million Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund being announced by Emergency Management Minister David Littleproud and Acting NSW Deputy Premier Paul Toole today.

“This is another funding opportunity for our local councils, business chambers, joint groups, businesses, charities and local Aboriginal Land Councils to apply for,” Mr Conaghan said.

“As residents and businesses continue recovering from the devastating 2019-20 bushfires, our Federal and State Liberal Nationals Governments are backing further projects designed to put people back in work, retain jobs and strengthen communities.

“I encourage our local leaders and groups to gather their recovery ideas together and prepare for this $250 million grant round to open on 27 October this year.”

Mr Littleproud said it is important local community groups lead their bushfire recovery actions.

“Bushfire recovery looks different in each community, and no one is better placed to identify local priorities than local people, which is why we said it had to be a locally led recovery not a Canberra led one,” he said.

“Our national approach to Local Economic Recovery funding is about assisting communities to lead their own recovery, with governments and local partners funding projects that will make a real difference locally.”

Mr Toole said funding will be available for projects to help industries and communities recover by creating jobs, increasing preparedness for future natural disasters and enhancing the natural environment.

“The significant funds injected through this program will support the needs of families and businesses in severely affected communities to bounce back after the 2019-20 bushfires tore through neighbourhoods and brought business to a grinding halt,” he said.

“As residents and businesses continue to rebuild their lives, we are backing projects designed to support jobs and reinvigorate communities with a focus on improvements to essential or community infrastructure as well as industry development.

“Tourism is a key industry and the natural environment a drawcard, so we are also looking to restore nature, create attractions as well as promote them.”

Grants of between $200,000 and $20 million will be available for projects such as:

  • Local community and cultural infrastructure
  • Tourism campaigns (including digital product development) and regional events
  • Workforce adaptation and work ready training programs
  • Community wellbeing and mental health programs
  • Tourism infrastructure including walking and mountain bike trails
  • Neighbourhood safer places.

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

Applications for the Bushfire Local Recovery Fund, co-funded by the Australian and NSW Governments, open on 27 October 2020. For more information and guidelines visit the NSW Government website.


Media contacts:

Mr Littleproud – Douglas Ferguson 0455 448 985

Mr Toole – Jo Hocking 0418 379 848

Mr Conaghan – Liz Spry 0418 928 744