David Littlerpoud MP David Littlerpoud

$4.6 million for Southern Downs projects under National Bushfire Recovery Funding

February 22, 2022

Three projects to build a stronger Southern Downs community have been successful under the Australian Government’s Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants program.

Federal Member for Maranoa David Littleproud today announced a $4.5 million redevelopment of the Warwick Saleyards, along with a $44,440 grant towards the Condamine Headwaters Landcare Group’s training program for Cultural Burning for Healthy Country, and $28,500 to support the Grand Parade at Stanthorpe’s 2022 Apple & Grape Harvest Festival.

Mr Littleproud said that the Warwick Saleyards upgrade will support the recovery of primary producers in the region.

“The economic and social benefits of saleyards directly impact at the saleyards site as well as the local businesses and greater community,” Mr Littleproud said.

“All stakeholders within the saleyards supply chain, including buyers, sellers, livestock selling agents, transport operators, employees and most importantly the livestock will benefit from this development.”

Southern Downs Mayor Vic Pennisi welcomed the funding announcement by Mr Littleproud.

“The Warwick Saleyards has been a major pillar in the identity of the Southern Downs for nearly 60 years and plays an important part in connecting our rural and agricultural community,” Mayor Pennisi said.

“It was critically important to us to obtain funding to progress the redevelopment project and ensure a sustainable and competitive market position for our saleyards.

“Today’s major funding announcement by the Australia Government gives the facility’s future clarity and certainty and shores up jobs and economic growth for our region.”

Mr Pennisi also acknowledged and commended the hard work and commitment of the Warwick Saleyards Advisory Committee and Council staff, which has culminated in this milestone announcement.

The Warwick Saleyards wasn’t the only recipient of National Bushfire Recovery Funding in Southern Downs.

The Condamine Headwaters Landcare Group will use their $44,440 grant to train local land managers about cultural burning of Country using First Nations fire practitioners to mitigate severe fire risk and enhance ecological health and productivity.

“This project will produce land managers who via their own networks, will continue the cultural changes towards reinstating burning as a management tool,” Mr Littleproud said.

Funding of $28,500 will also flow to Stanthorpe’s Apple & Grape Harvest Festival to bolster the Grand Parade and provide social benefits and support local economic recovery and cash-flow within the Granite Belt.

The three projects are among 524 projects funded under the program.

Mr Littleproud said the overall program funding was boosted by $110 million to $390 million to further support communities around Australia to recover from the 2019-20 bushfires.

“As part of the now $2.2 billion National Bushfire Recovery Fund, the Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants program is backing projects which the affected communities have said will best support their ongoing recovery,” Mr Littleproud said.

“It was important that we funded projects based on need and merit and which offered a lasting and tangible impact, tailored to local needs and conditions. The quality of the projects funded shows that our ‘locally led’ approach works.

“We understand that recovery from bushfires takes time, and we will continue to support impacted communities through their recovery from the devastating Black Summer bushfires of 2019-2020.”

Several additional projects cross over multiple federal electorates and local government areas and include:

  1. Billion Bees – Black Summer Connecting Communities ($915,035) – an environmental project between Aboriginal Land Councils, Men’s Sheds, Local Governments and Schools to bring Australian native stingless bees and beehives into communities.
  2. Healthy Land & Water Ltd’s Queensland Fire & Biodiversity Consortium – working to create a set of strategic priority fire management actions using a long-term fire management approach ($4,364,569).
  3. A Museum & Gallery Recovery and Preparedness Workshop Series ($98,476).
  4. New England North West Health (HealthWISE) will work with communities in 16 LGAs to address the impact of trauma experienced following the bushfires ($3.6 million).
  5. Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN) in partnership with Community Services Industry Alliance (CSIA), and the University of Sydney will work with the five Queensland local communities to deliver and implement a collaborative, community-based approach to disability inclusive disaster risk reduction ($1,040,800).
  6. The Creche and Kindergarten Association (C&K) will deliver workshops and mentoring for early childhood teachers located in bushfire affected communities ($112,320).

Details of the funded projects are available on the National Recovery and Resilience Agency website