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Pat Conaghan MP

PREPARING AUSTRALIA PROGRAM – LOCAL GRANTS AVAILABLE

A key component of the Liberal and Nationals Government’s $600 million Preparing Australia Program has been launched, with the guidelines for the first stream of the program now available for communities.

Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie is urging eligible communities to now familiarise themselves with the $150 million Preparing Australian Communities Program – Local ahead of the opening of applications on December 10.

“The $150 million Preparing Australian Communities – Local will support projects that help communities to be better prepared for future disasters and lessen their impacts,” Minister McKenzie said.

“The Preparing Australian Communities Program – Local has been developed in consultation with all levels of government, emergency service agencies, and industry bodies across Australia. The Australian Climate Service has provided disaster risk advice to inform the design of the program.”

“The program will target locally identified projects that will improve the resilience of communities in the social, economic, natural or built environment.”

“We have released the guidelines now to give applicants time to discuss their projects with their communities and prepare their applications.”

“We know that we achieve better outcomes when local groups and local people work together.”

Member for Cowper, Mr Pat Conaghan MP is urging locals in his electorate to get their projects lined up now for the $150 million first round of the Preparing Australian Communities Program – Local ahead of the opening of applications on December 10.

“The Liberal and Nationals Government is investing heavily in initiatives to help the nation prepare for natural hazards. Round one of the Preparing Australian Communities Program – Local is focussed on building community resilience to bushfire, tropical cyclone and floods,” Mr Conaghan said.

“Grants from $20,000 to $10 million will be available for eligible projects that help to assess and plan for disaster risk, increase capacity and raise awareness of disaster risk, or deliver resilient infrastructure for communities.”

“The grant guidelines contain important information about eligibility and assessment criteria. I encourage the communities in Cowper, like the Telegraph Point Community that we are chatting to as part of today’s annoucement, to get together and think about their disaster risks and check the guidelines to start preparing an application now.”

“Applications could be submitted for projects like flood and bushfire risk assessments, communications initiatives that build awareness, and infrastructure to mitigate disaster risk like levees, bridges or community refuges.”

In May 2021, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the $600 million Preparing Australia Program in response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements, to bring a greater focus to disaster risk reduction.

Guidelines, Frequently Asked Questions, a sample application form, and support resources are available at www.business.gov.au/grants-and-programs/preparing-australian-communities-local-stream

Applications will open on 10 December 2021, with successful projects to commence by mid-2022.

Further information about the Preparing Australia Program is available at recovery.gov.au/preparing-australia-program.

In addition to the $600 million Preparing Australia Program, the Australian Government’s investment in resilience, risk reduction and preparedness includes:

  • $4.5 million National Capability Package.
  • $20 million Betterment Fund in Queensland, jointly funded with Queensland Government, with $10 million from the Australian Government, to rebuild essential public infrastructure damaged in the 2020-21 disaster season to a more resilient standard.
  • $27.1 million Strengthening Telecommunications Against Natural Disasters (STAND) package to improve the resilience of Australia’s communications networks in bushfire and disaster prone areas program funded under the $2 billion National Bushfire Recovery Fund.
  • $40 million North Queensland Strata Title Resilience Pilot Program, part of the Northern Australia Insurance Package.
  • $85 million Natural Hazards Research Australia (NHRA), a new natural hazards and disaster resilience research centre for the next ten years.
  • $200 million Infrastructure Betterment Fund in New South Wales, jointly funded with the NSW Government, with $100 million from the Australian Government.
  • $261 million Disaster Risk Reduction Package, jointly funded with states and territories, with $130.5 million from the Australian Government.
  • $4 billion Emergency Response Fund (ERF), provides up to $50 million annually for pre-disaster resilience initiatives.
    • The $50 million component of the ERF for 2020-21 has been allocated to fund or co-fund 22 priority flood mitigation infrastructure projects across the country under the National Flood Mitigation Infrastructure Program

The Australian Government is also building resilience into its recovery investments, such as the $2.8 billion for 2019-20 Black Summer bushfire recovery.

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