David Littlerpoud MP David Littlerpoud

$1 Million Injection Into Southern Downs For Bushfire Recovery

January 9, 2020

An immediate bushfire recovery grant of $1 million will help the Southern Downs Regional Council (SDRC) rebuild vital infrastructure and strengthen community resilience, Maranoa MP David Littleproud said today.

“To be battling through drought and then get kicked in the guts again with bushfires shows how tough and determined the people on the Southern Downs are,” Mr Littleproud said.

“This $1 million payment is just the start of our rebuild.

“SDRC will decide what infrastructure is important to people across the region and it will be built back better.

“This can go into repairing and rebuilding vital assets like roads, bridges or staging events that bring visitors back into the region and boost tourism dollars for local businesses.

“It can even be used to hire staff for bushfire recovery work.

“I’ve made it clear this won’t be a Canberra led recovery, it’ll be a locally led recovery and this is our first instalment in that process.

“We’re committed to rebuilding communities and the lives of those impacted by these devastating fires.

“That’s why we’ve created the $2 billion National Bushfire Recovery Agency – where this $1 million grant is being drawn from – and are giving SDRC the opportunity to scope out how to begin rebuilding.”

SDRC will be able to spend their $1 million payment on projects and activities that they deem essential for the recovery and renewal of their communities, including:

•              Rebuilding damaged or destroyed council assets such as key local roads, bridges, and community facilities;

•              Employing additional local staff to take on specialist recovery or planning roles to help coordinate and plan the rebuilding effort;

•              Hosting new public activities and events to bring communities together and attract visitors back to affected regions; and

•              Immediate maintenance and repairs to relief and evacuation centres.

The Commonwealth’s lump sum payments will be delivered to state governments – who will administer payments of $1 million to 42 bushfire-impacted councils – by tomorrow.