More than $4 million in bushfire recovery funding is coming to the Mid Coast to support a diverse range of projects, from replacement of the Kiwarrak mountain bike park to shoring up crisis shelter and amenities at Taree, Wingham and Old Bar, as well as implementing programs to support those facing domestic and family violence.
Seven projects will be delivered through round two of the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery (LER) Fund, co-funded by the Australian and NSW governments.
Federal Member for Lyne, Dr David Gillespie and Member for Myall Lakes, Stephen Bromhead jointly announced the funding.
The projects include:
- $403,980 for replacement of Kiwarrak mountain bike park including the creation of accessible trails for those with adaptive bikes, plus toilets, changing rooms and an undercover barbecue area for community use.
- $598,522 for Bushfire Recovery and Safeguarding against Domestic and Family violence. The Uniting Church in Australia Property Trust will use the funding to implement three evidence-based domestic and family violence group work programs across the region including: Women Can, Parenting after Domestic Violence, and Kids Can.
- $425,000 for upgrades to first aid rooms, bathrooms and emergency response areas at Old Bar Surf Life Saving Club.
- $546,457 for upgrades to Wingham Services Club. Funding will provide a more suitable environment for the community to shelter in times of crisis, including upgrades to bathrooms and an emergency generator.
- $896,156 for Redevelopment of 'The Green' Sustainability Education Centre. The community project will be converted into a multi-purpose community education centre that includes a community garden, a men's shed, a workshop space, and a covered outdoor area.
- $428,367 for Indigenous Cultural Rangers at Dark Point and Saltwater Aboriginal Places. Taree Indigenous Development and Employment (TIDE) will employ Cultural Rangers to implement on-the-ground activities and develop and deliver programs designed to boost visitor awareness, education and cultural tourism. The TIDE Cultural Rangers will participate in wildlife monitoring; pest and weed programs; heritage protection works; and promoting the important environmental and cultural values of these Aboriginal Places to visitors.
- $815,759 to Manning River Agricultural and Horticultural Society. Amenities blocks will be upgraded while roads will be sealed giving all-weather access to community and emergency service units.
These projects have a focus on drawing people to the region, supporting primary industries to enhance economic and social recovery, create jobs, and improve community resilience for future emergency events," Dr Gillespie said.
"This funding builds on the $8.2 million announced in November to turn Taree basketball stadium into Iron Arena, a regional complex fit to host major sporting and entertainment events, support the health and wellbeing of locals and the careers of rising sports stars, as well as hosting trade shows and concerts."
"I walked the Kiwarrak mountain bike park and saw the damage the fires caused and the work volunteers like Craig, Bruce and Dallas put in to rebuild, This funding will allow the expansion and will deliver more thrill seeking visitors," Dr Gillespie said.
"Funding for LER projects is just one of the initiatives supported by the Australian Government's National Bushfire Recovery Fund."
To date, more than $2.3 billion in Australian Government support has been provided to help bushfire affected communities, including $1.6 billion spent so far from the National Bushfire Recovery Fund.
More than 80 per cent of the available funding has been used to help communities recover from the 2019-20 bushfires.
"It's fantastic to see these vital community projects receive this funding as people continue to rebuild their lives following the black summer bushfires that destroyed 125 homes in our region and damaged many more," Myall Lakes MP, Stephen Bromhead said.
"We are backing projects that will bring communities together, support tourism, provide improved or new social amenity, as well as increasing preparedness for future bushfires.
"The projects announced today are just one part of the complete recovery journey of the Myall Lakes and will help us to continue repairing the social and economic fabric of our communities."
The Department of Regional NSW led the merit-based assessment of all 652 applications against the published guidelines and assessment criteria. The robust, fair and transparent process was overseen by independent probity advisors from both the Australian and NSW governments.
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Applications were assessed and recommended by the Department of Regional NSW and subsequently reviewed and endorsed by the National Recovery and Resilience Agency, with final funding decisions approved by the NSW Government.
The Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Package is one part of the $4.5 billion overarching bushfire support program co-funded by the Australian and NSW Governments for bushfire recovery, response and preparedness in NSW.
For further information, visit https://www.nsw.gov.au/blerfund
The Australian Government will soon open applications for Round 3 - Bushfire Recovery Grants, $280 million will be available for projects to benefit communities impacted by the Black Summer Bushfires.
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