Communities still recovering from the 2019-20 bushfires will soon have access to a new Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants program, to help them address priority work that hasn’t yet been supported under other funding programs.
Minister for Emergency Management, David Littleproud, said the new Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants would open in July, funding projects to support social, economic, built and environmental recovery. “We know that recovery is a long, hard haul and communities are still struggling more than a year after the devastating bushfire season of 2019-20,” Minister Littleproud said. “This funding will help them continue their recovery, making sure that every dollar from the National Bushfire Recovery Fund is being used where it’s needed most.
“The government is working through the criteria and processes, to make it as simple and flexible as possible for communities. We are flagging the new program nice and early, to give people time to think about the kinds of projects they want funded in their area. “We expect the new grants to fund a broad range of projects– from community wellbeing projects right through to projects that support the recovery of natural and built environments. As we finalise grant criteria, we’ll provide clear advice to communities about what can be funded, and make it as easy as possible for them to apply.”
Under the new grants program, funding will come directly from the Australian Government’s National Bushfire Recovery fund to local organisations, businesses and councils – getting money into communities to help with their current needs and priorities. “This is not new money. In some of the programs under the $2 billion National Bushfire Recovery Fund, take up was lower than expected. I want to make sure that any unspent funds from those demand-driven programs under the Fund, goes to where it is now needed.” The establishment of the new grants program will make sure that around $180 million, on top of the already announced $98.5 million for Complementary Projects fund, will be injected into communities to address unmet need.
“We see the hard work communities are undertaking towards their own recovery, and we will continue walking beside them and providing support where it’s needed,” Minister Littleproud said. “We know it takes time for people to fill out grant applications, so we’ll look to release the grant guidelines well ahead of the July application date, and we’ll build in as much flexibility as possible for people who want to draw on applications they’ve written for other programs.”
The grants will be open to people in local government areas that were disaster declared after the 2019-20 bushfires, with full details to be available as part of grant guidelines in mid-2021. Guidelines and funding criteria will be available in July 2021 with applications expected to open shortly after. Funding will go to successful applicants from December 2021. Potential applicants can express their interest in receiving further information, once it is available, via the online Black Summer Bushfire Recovery grants contact form.