The Australian Government has provided funding to local community projects in the Groom electorate under the Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants program, with projects in Toowoomba Region receiving $212,835 in direct support.
Member for Groom Garth Hamilton said the construction of a new local Strategic Fire Trail and support for High Country Festivals to the Hampton Country Enterprise Kitchen expansion are among the 524 projects funded under the program.
Mr Hamilton said the overall program funding was boosted to $390 million to further support communities around Australia to recover from the 2019-20 bushfires.
“As part of the $2.1 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,” Garth Hamilton MP said.
“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.”
Mr Hamilton said local projects funded included:
- High Country Festivals Inc – Hampton Community Enterprise Kitchen Stage 3 – $24,710
- The Association runs the Hampton Art and Food Festiva which attracts up to 5000 locals and visitors. Patrons connect with micro-regional producers and local artists. The Festival attracts up to 150 volunteers who help out and assist over the weekend.
- The grant proposed is to complete Stage 3 of a stand alone and transportable kitchen. This kitchen will be available for the Festival and to emergency groups such as SES and RFS, local Community Groups for functions and events and to local businesses and producers
- Toowoomba Regional Council – Strategic Fire Trails – $188,125
- The collaboration between the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services and Toowoomba Regional Council in enhance public safety from bushfires through the location and construction of a network of strategic fire trails in the communities impacted by the Black Summer Bushfires in 2019. Previously sourced funding saw the initial trails implemented (approximately 20km in localities west of Millmerran and less than 5km near Crows Nest). These trails improve the bushfire preparedness of the local fire authorities with faster response to bushfires, faster implementation of fire fighting and suppression measures and greater safety through providing additional escape routes for responding fire crews.
Three projects that indirectly support Toowoomba Region and other local government areas have also been funded:
- Healthy Land and Water Ltd – Queensland Fire and Biodiversity Consortium – $4,364,569
- This proposal recognises that local communities are at the heart of local fire management and therefore must be actively involved in the response. It ensures that indigenous cultural expertise and landscape resilience is actively integrated into fire management as a central driver of tenure blind planning and resilience actions. This project builds community’s knowledge, understanding and enables their active involvement in fire management planning and delivery of mitigation works both at a private landholder level and in cross-tenure situations where land is management by local, state, federal governments, or industry. A set of strategic priority fire management actions are developed and funded using a long-term fire management approach.
- New England North West Health Ltd – Recover, adapt, connect; supporting disaster resilience following bushfire – $3,600,000
- For survivors of the black summer bushfires, life has been forever changed. Without appropriate clinical and support services, the impact of trauma for many will be long-lasting and result in increased acuity of physical and mental health conditions and an ongoing health burden to communities.
- HealthWISE will work with communities in 16 LGAs to address the impact of trauma experienced following the bushfires. Our project will facilitate recovery and develop psychological preparedness for future bushfires, in individuals and communities. We will do this with a locally based workforce of nurses, mental and allied health clinicians, Aboriginal health practitioners and we will assist people to navigate and connect with other existing services.
- The Alternative Technology Association Inc – Green Rebuild Toolkit – $161,399
- This project will empower and support fire-ravaged communities to rebuild their homes in a climate-resilient way. The Green Rebuild Toolkit includes a range of tools, resources and online events tailored for communities rebuilding after the 2019/2020 Australian bushfires. In partnership with our local member Branches and building on our 40 years of practice in home sustainability, the Toolkit is a wealth of expert resources, virtual and physical events, and one-on-one advice sessions to support communities to build back sustainably and resiliently.
- Households will be better informed, communities will be empowered, and rebuilt properties will be sustainable and resilient.
Details of the funded projects are available on the National Recovery and Resilience Agency website at: https://recovery.gov.au/programs/black-summer-grants