East Gippsland Shire Council has welcomed the announcement of about $13 million in Regional Economic Stimulus Grants funding for 10 local projects and congratulate all recipients for their successful applications.
The 10 projects funded are well deserving of funding and will make a real difference to our economy during construction. Importantly, they will also improve the liveability, tourism opportunities and long-term employment prospects for our region.
Council put forward 10 of its own applications and three were funded. Council’s successful projects were the Buchan Streetscape and pathway connections ($2.8 million), Bruthen Streetscape($1.01m) and Lakes Entrance Old Slipway site modification ($560,000).
Projects put forward by Council but not supported were:
- E vehicle recharge stations
- Omeo Mountain Bike Trails Stage 2
- Mallacoota Streetscape
- Raymond Island Koala Experience
- Lakes Entrance cycle discovery trail
- Flourish business activation project
- East Gippsland Business events
Council was also pleased to be able to support third-party projects put forward for consideration. We know there were many that were unsuccessful but very worthy projects that applied for funding. We will advocate to have these, and others, supported in the future as we collectively continue our recovery.
There was an opportunity by the funding bodies to provide a greater percentage of the available $34m funding in this program to East Gippsland projects to assist with long-term recovery. We had advocated for a geographic allocation of funds based on fire impact and need, and consistent with the community-led recovery ethos. We will continue to advocate for greater funding and promote East Gippsland projects.
We are hearing first-hand there is some anxiety in the community about ‘missing out’ on funding opportunities. We know communities and businesses are at different stages of their recovery.
What the funding process has shown is that there are a lot of great projects in East Gippsland that could all contribute to revitalising our region if funded, and there is clearly a need for more funding to support more of these projects. Council will continue to support communities and businesses to secure funding for projects from current and future grant programs.