The Morrison-Joyce Government has provided funding to local community projects in New England, under the Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants program, with 36 projects in the electorate receiving $21,395,057 and 11 projects sharing in $16,722,662.
Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, said the funding includes $5.4 million for the next stage of the New England Rail Trail between Armidale and Queensland and $1.4 million for the Merriwa Emergency and Rescue Centre.
“This funding is further delivery of major projects I have been fighting for in New England, building upon the millions of dollars the Coalition Government is already spending across the electorate, such as $96 million committed for a heavy vehicle bypass in Tenterfield and $25 million allocated to upgrade Port Stephens Cutting,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“The overall program funding was boosted by $110 million to $390 million to further support communities around Australia to recover from the devastating 2019-20 bushfires.
“As part of the now $2.2 billion National Bushfire Recovery Fund, the Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants program is backing projects which the affected communities have said will best support their ongoing recovery.
“The grants will fund a broad range of recovery and resilience projects, from social and community wellbeing right through to projects that support local jobs, small businesses and infrastructure.
“It was important that we funded projects based on need and merit and which offered a lasting and tangible impact, tailored to local needs and conditions. The quality of the projects funded shows that our ‘locally led’ approach works.
“We understand that recovery from bushfires takes time, and we will continue to support impacted communities through their recovery from the devastating Black Summer bushfires of 2019-2020.”
Tenterfield Shire Council Mayor, Bronwyn Petrie, said the Shire and community is grateful to receive the announced grants.
“The shire was heavily impacted by prolonged and extensive bushfires that lasted for many months and impacting 60% of the shire. The successful projects will assist in community recovery, safety and preparedness.
The Drake village revitalisation project will provide an alternate access road to the Drake Village Hall aimed at enhancing the hall’s capacity as a future evacuation centre as well as a place of refuge during adverse events for the village,” Mayor Petrie said.
Details of the funded projects are available on the National Recovery and Resilience Agency website at: https://recovery.gov.au/programs/black-summer-grants.
A full list of New England projects can be found here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1y0Nhnsv-I79em0_EUT38mHWVxSqRrtaCp0fYeoQ6Lkg/edit?usp=sharing