The NSW Government is continuing to support councils and public land managers in parts of the State ravaged by last summer’s bushfires, providing a further $95 million of new funding to help manage waste from the ongoing clean-up.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the funding will provide a much-needed boost for cleaning up public land, provide valuable jobs for the regions and assist local recovery.
“Nothing is more important than a stronger and safer NSW which is why we are committed to assisting regional communities as we make our way forward,” Mr Barilaro said.
“Last summer it was fires and now we are starting to see floods, but regardless of the challenge we face we will continue to stand with our communities and support them to come back better than ever before.
“We have stood by our regional communities, providing more than $2.5 billion in bushfire recovery funding through grants, immediate clean-up, temporary accommodation and industry support.
“This new funding will play a key role in supporting our councils and public land managers to manage waste and keep the clean-up cycle moving.”
The $95 million funding, will be administered by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and be split across five programs:
- Green Waste Program: $45 million to remove burnt and partially burnt green waste from stockpiles that pose pollution and fire risks.
- Aboriginal Lands Program: $20 million to increase awareness about Aboriginal land protections and award clean-up contracts to local Aboriginal businesses.
- Council Landfill Program: $15 million to cover the costs of accepting extra waste at local landfills.
- FenceCycle Program: $10 million to recycle fencing, including up to 88,000 km of burnt boundary fencing.
- Bushfire Dumping Program: $5 million for the safe removal of illegally dumped bushfire waste and implementing deterrence measures.
Environment Minister Matt Kean said the new funding will aid in the next step of the bushfire recovery process, helping to increase waste capacity, protecting the environment from illegal dumping and supporting our communities to rebuild faster and stronger than ever.
“Not only will these programs help with the ongoing clean-up they will provide local employment opportunities, with a relentless focus on engaging local sub-contractors and businesses where possible to keep the cash flowing to local economies,” Mr Kean said.
“We have worked with councils and land managers to make sure these programs address challenges they are facing on the ground, and we will continue to do everything we can to keep the recovery clean-up moving.”
The three programs targeting illegal dumping, fence recycling and council landfills will be funded by the NSW Government, while the green waste and Aboriginal land clean-up programs will be funded under the joint Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.