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  • Writer's pictureDave Layzell MP


Dave Layzell MP, Member for Upper Hunter today announced that communities in the Upper Hunter Electorate will receive a critical boost to their recovery from 3 projects to be delivered through Stage Two of the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund, co-funded by the Australian and NSW Goverments.

Mr Layzell said $1,674,106 of funding will enable projects that will deliver important infrastructure improvements, as well as social and community outcomes.

Mr Layzell said the projects funded are:

  • $264,432 for Dungog Shire Council for the Camping to Common Trail Connections, connecting the Dungog Showground to Dungog Common;

  • $922,674 for Upper Hunter Shire Council to creat a Merriwa cycle and walkway;

  • $487,000 for the Norther Agricultural Society to upgrade Singleton Showground’s main building.

“One of the great features about this funding is it provides for recreational and community event-related projects,” Mr Layzell said.

“The projects announced today are just one part of the complete recovery journey of the Upper Hunter Electorate and will help us to continue repairing the social and economic fabric of our local towns.

“The Nationals in Government remain committed to building safer and stronger regional and rural communities.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Disaster Recovery John Barilaro said the diverse nature of the Stage Two Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund projects was driven by the specific recovery needs of each community and guided by locally led applications.

“One year has passed since we cleared 3,600 properties damaged or destroyed by the Black Summer bushfires and we are continuing to deliver the support that the Upper Hunter Electorate needs to keep moving forward in recovery,” Mr Barilaro said.

“People are rebuilding their lives and we are backing projects that will bring communities together, support tourism, provide improved or new social amenity, and increase preparedness to future bushfires. All of these things play a part in recovery.”

Mr Barilaro said more than 650 applications were received from 47 LGAs impacted by the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires in NSW, requesting a total of $1.6 billion – more than six times the original funding available.

“I understand that preparing and submitting applications takes a lot of time and engery and with such an oversubscription of applications and high demand for funding, it means there will be many disappointed applicants. I am pleased that unsuccessful applicants will have the chance to consider submitting their project to the Australian Government’s $280 million Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants that is expected to open in early July 2021,” Mr Barilaro said.

“Applicants who did not receive funding will be offered an opportunity for feedback on their application and also advice about other funding options that they might wish to consider.”

The Department of Regional NSW led the merit-based assessment of all 652 applications against the published guidelines and assessment criteria. The robust, fair and transparent process was overseen by independent probity advisors from both the Australian and NSW governments.

Applications were assessed and recommended by the Department of Regional NSW and subsequently reviewed and endorsed by the National Recovery and Resilience Agency, with final funding decisions approved by the NSW Government.

The Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Package is one part of the $4.5 billion overarching bushfire support program co-funded by the Australian and NSW Governments for bushfire recovery, response and preparedness in NSW.

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