Projects to build local economic recovery and resilience in bushfire-affected areas

​Astro tourism, hot springs and revamped streetscapes are among the 20 new projects to share in $32.9 million in support for regional economic recovery across bushfire-affected areas of Victoria.

Announcing further Local Economic Recovery grants today, Australian Minister for Emergency Management David Littleproud, Victorian Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville, and Victorian Minister for Regional Development Mary-Anne Thomas congratulated applicants on their project ideas that will help stimulate economic growth and build economic resilience.

“These projects will bring employment and economic benefits to these communities that have been so hard hit by the 2019-20 bushfires, and now COVID-19.

“Regionally-driven economic projects will create jobs, attract visitors and help our regional Victorian towns thrive into the future – a great step forward in bushfire recovery,” said Minister Littleproud.

Twenty projects were announced today under the Victorian Government’s Regional economic stimulus and resilience grants – under the Australian and Victorian governments’ $68.6 million Local Economic Recovery (LER) program.

“The Local Economic Recovery Program is funding these major economic stimulus projects to secure the future of our regional towns and projects by injecting funding at a local level, exactly where it is needed.

“Recovery is a long journey. We’re here to listen to and support local communities along the way, they are the ones who know what works best for them.

“Further rounds of Local Economic Recovery funding for local community projects will be available this year, ensuring communities have the time they need to determine their local priorities and get their ideas right,” said Minister Neville

Economic stimulus projects funded in East Gippsland to support sustainable bushfire recovery include:

  • $3 million to help rebuild the Mallacoota Abalone processing facility, which was impacted by fire.
  • $2.8 million to revitalise and improve the Buchan streetscape.
  • $2.35 million to help relocate and expand Sailors Grave Brewing to develop agri- tourism through relocation and expansion.
  • $1.5 million to support the first stage of the Metung Hot Springs tourism development.
  • More than $1 million to enhance the Bruthen streetscape.
  • More than $850,000 for Envite Environment to create trainee opportunities for young indigenous people to pursue careers in natural resource management.
  • $562,000 for the redevelopment of the iconic Old Slipway in lakes Entrance.
  • $400,000 for Tambo Valley Honey to develop an agri-tourism experience and destination honey shop.
  • $267,000 for Destination Gippsland to develop tourism product along a Gippsland Dark Skies Visitor Trail.
  • $190,000 to help redevelop and expand the Riviera Nautic jetty infrastructure.

Economic stimulus projects funded in Victoria’s North East to support sustainable bushfire recovery include:

  • $5 million to boost tourism infrastructure and visitation along the Great River Road.
  • $2.6 million for new and upgraded infrastructure along the Dargo High Plains Road.
  • $2.17 million to support Upper Murray Inc’s plan to protect communities against power outages and reduce running costs.
  • $1.35 million for Mansfield Autism Statewide Services to develop on-site family accommodation units.
  • $870,000 for Wines of the King Valley to develop a smoke sensor network that will help wine makers make informed decisions.
  • $600,000 to help redevelop the iconic Alpine Hotel in Bright.
  • $375,000 for a cycle tourism and accommodation redevelopment in Bright.

Economic stimulus projects funded in Victoria’s Alpine Resorts to support sustainable bushfire recovery include:

  • $2.5 million for Falls Creek Alpine Resort to redevelop the lakeside trailhead and foreshore to assist growing water sport activation.
  • $2.5 million to develop the Mt Hotham Snow Play and Activity Hub.
  • $2 million to develop the Dinner Plain recreation reserve and village centre.

Minister for Regional Development Mary-Anne Thomas has welcomed the funding announcement.

“We’ve worked with communities to ensure local businesses have input into getting the ure they need to recover and thrive into the future.

“These projects achieve a lot – from creating more opportunities for young indigenous people to helping local governments entice tourists back to their regions.

“This funding will increase long-term resilience and give local business a strong foundation on which to build back even stronger,” said Minister Thomas.

The Victorian LER programs regional economic stream is now fully allocated, but there are still opportunities to apply under the local community projects grants stream.

Applications for two further rounds of LER local community project grants will open in March (Round 2) and July (Round 3) 2021. More information and an Expression of Interest form, is available on the
Local Economic Recovery Program​ webpage.

Organisations wishing to apply for a local community project grant are strongly encouraged to complete the online Expression of Interest, and will be connected to Bushfire Recovery Victoria to discuss their project.

Projects already funded under the Victoria LER program include $8 million in economic programs to support jobs, apprenticeships, farmers, and businesses across the highly fire- affected areas and $6.7 million in local community projects addressing community recovery priorities.

For the two upcoming rounds of LER community project grants, practical support from local suppliers is also on offer to Community Recovery Committees to assist with the grant application process, such as grant writing and project scoping.

To learn more about the Local Economic Recovery program in Victoria or see what else you might be eligible for visit
Bushfire Recovery Victoria​, contact 1800 560 760 or visit a local Bushfire Recovery Hub.

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