Seven Queensland councils will share in $8.9 million of additional funding for a range of projects to help drive the economic recovery of Queensland communities impacted by last year’s bushfires.
Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud said nine projects had been approved in the third round of the $36.8 million Local Economic Recovery Program (LER), jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.
“The Queensland Bushfires of late 2019 were a part of one of the worst bushfire seasons Australia has seen,” Minister Littleproud said.
“The devastating effects of the fires have been exacerbated even further by the COVID-19 pandemic, so I am pleased this LER funding has been committed to help communities, local economies and natural areas recover.
“By investing in community spaces, tourism, water infrastructure and our local environment, these nine projects will create jobs, help communities recover and improve future resilience.
“Today’s announcement brings the total projects approved under the LER Program to 27 with a total value of more than $26 million,” he said.
Queensland Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for the Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA) Steven Miles said projects approved in this round included upgrades to community facilities, water infrastructure and environmental revegetation projects, as well as the installation of smart water meters in drought-prone areas.
“The Queensland Government is focused on delivering its economic recovery plan for Queensland, and this $8.9 million will be a real boost to our ongoing efforts to ensure community recovery from the bushfires as well as economic stimulus for COVID-19,” Mr Miles said.
“All of these projects have been chosen by their local communities to provide economic benefits across each local region that will contribute to their recovery and longer-term resilience.
“We know from experience that recovery is most successful when it is locally-led and supported at the state and federal levels, and that is exactly what we are doing with this program,” he said.
Funding and projects approved under the third round of the LER Program:
- Bundaberg Regional Council
- Environmental recovery project for the naturalisation of Washpool Creek, including revegetation to improve water quality and the planting of up to 20,000 trees – $2,777,000
- Gympie Regional Council
- Upgrades to a number of water mains across the region to provide a secure and reliable water service for residents and enable the required water pressure for firefighting – $1,080,000
- Scenic Rim Regional Council
- Repairs and upgrades to six community halls to operate as recovery hubs during and after natural disasters – $310,000
- Somerset Regional Council
- Upgrades to existing facilities to improve the operation of the Moore Soldiers Memorial Hall – $403,000
- Improvements to the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail user experience, with increased car and recreational vehicle parking at Fernvale and Esk, and enhancements to the overnight campground in Toogoolawah – $478,000
- Upgrades to multiple sites along the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail, including the addition of solar lighting and all-ability access – $1,503,000
- Southern Downs Regional Council
- Installation of smart metering technology in Stanthorpe in response to future climate and natural hazard conditions – $940,000
- Sunshine Coast Regional Council
- Train Sunshine Coast – A soft infrastructure initiative to maximise the use of regional sporting assets and industry capabilities – $1,336,000
- Toowoomba Regional Council
- Development of a trail network in the Crows Nest region to boost eco-tourism – $106,000
The 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.