More Bushfire Recovery Funding Up For Grabs

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Federal Member for Macquarie Susan Templeman encouraged Hawkesbury and Blue Mountains residents to come up with innovative projects that would help their communities recover from the 2019/20 bushfires and submit them for a share in $280 million under the new Black Summer Bushfire Recovery (BSBR) grants program, for which guidelines have now been released.

“Both the Hawkesbury and Blue Mountains Local Government Areas (LGAs) have been allocated $4.5 million, so it’s a great opportunity for people to get funding for projects that help our community,” Ms Templeman said.

“This funding has been a long time coming for bushfire affected areas, which have been feeling the effects of the fires for nearly two years, now combined with the effects of another lockdown,” Ms Templeman said.

“I fought hard to ensure that the communities hit hardest by fires would see something positive come out of it, and I am really pleased to see funding finally reaching some parts of the community in a really tangible way. But many excellent projects missed out, and I’d encourage those people and groups to go for what might be the final round of bushfire funding from the Federal Government.” Ms Templeman acknowledged that the situation had been worse for the Hawkesbury with the floods and then the pandemic on top.

“I know that lockdown measures in certain industries, including in construction and building and the beauty industry, while necessary, have hit many local families hard,” she said.

“The bushfire funding won’t help them.

What will help them is financial assistance to businesses to be able to support their workers through this period. Because the Morrison government has refused to reinstate JobKeeper, it’s a much more complex process, with some support provided at a State level and some at a Federal level. So businesses should contact Services NSW to see what they’re eligible for, and share that information with their workers. The backup for employees and even self-employed people who are not being paid is the $600 a week payment from the Federal Government, and people should go to Services Australia to access that payment, if they can’t receive anything else.”

“My biggest concern is the number of businesses who don’t qualify for the payments, and for whom it isn’t really enough to keep their head above water.” Grants can range from $20,000 up to $10 million. Applications for the grants will open tomorrow and close on September 2. The program is not available for individuals, partnerships or trusts. To be eligible, you must have an Australian

Business Number (ABN) and be one of the following:
• A community organisation, local business or incorporated association.
• An incorporated charity or not-for-profit organisation.
• An Aboriginal Land Council or indigenous corporation.
• A local governing agency or body (such as a Council), or ACT governing agency.

Visit recovery.gov.au/black-summer-grants for more information. Support is available for people who would like assistance with the grant application process, including in-person and online workshops.

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