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More funding to help Queensland communities recover from bushfires

Five Queensland council areas heavily impacted by last year’s bushfires will share in more than $6 million to deliver a range of locally developed projects that will contribute to economic and social recovery, and create local jobs.

Minister for Emergency Management David Littleproud said the projects were being supported through the $36.8 million Local Economic Recovery (LER) program for Queensland, which is jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

“The Queensland Bushfires in 2019 had a devastating effect on communities throughout Queensland,” Minister Littleproud said.

“The recovery from these fires was made that much harder by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has impacted all sectors, including tourism and agriculture, as well as small businesses who were already struggling through drought.

“The Commonwealth and Queensland Governments remain committed to helping communities recover following natural disaster, and these projects will produce enduring benefits and improve future resilience.

“The six projects announced today benefit from the first round of funding under the program, with more than $30 million in future investment still to come.”

Queensland Treasurer and Minister responsible for the Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA) Cameron Dick said the funds would prove a welcome boost to local communities at a time of significant challenge.

“We know Queensland communities are doing it tough at the moment with the COVID pandemic still wreaking havoc around the world,” Mr Dick said.

“However, because we’ve managed the health response in our state we can progress projects like these that create jobs and infrastructure for Queenslanders.

“The projects announced today vary greatly, from initiatives to boost local water supply and construct walking trails to cinema upgrades.

“The Palaszczuk Government is delivering its plan for economic recovery and will continue investing in Queensland’s bushfire-impacted communities to help them recover stronger than before.”

Funding and projects approved under the first round of the LER Program:

  • $2,000,000 to design and construct a four-megalitre concrete potable water supply reservoir and associated infrastructure in Livingstone Shire Council
  • $1,690,000 to open an underground water source near Chillagoe in Mareeba Shire Council
  • $1,610,000 to improve and create new links within a priority section of Noosa’s hinterland trails network in Noosa Shire Council
  • $67,500 to upgrade facilities in the Boonah Cultural and Community Hub in Scenic Rim Regional Council
  • $250,000 to construct Stage 1 of the Mount Glen Rock Recreation and Nature Reserve development in Somerset Regional Council
  • $385,000 to construct Stage 2 of the Mount Glen Rock Recreation and Nature Reserve development in in Somerset Regional Council

The Queensland LER Program is open to local governments and Queensland Government departments and agencies for projects in the Bundaberg, Gladstone, Gympie, Ipswich, Livingstone, Lockyer Valley, Mareeba, Noosa, Scenic Rim, Somerset, Southern Downs, Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba local government areas.

The program is administered by the QRA on behalf of the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments.

The Local Economic Recovery process focuses on community involvement in identifying projects so local needs can be reflected and the funding can be put to the best use. Some projects will have contributions from councils as part of the community led approach and collaboration across all levels of government.

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