Bega Valley Shire Council has welcomed the announcement of local funding awarded through round two of the Bushfire Community Recovery and Resilience Fund (BCRRF), citing the important boost it represents for key community-led recovery projects.
Bega Valley Shire Mayor, Russell Fitzpatrick said it was pleasing to see that much needed funding was getting through to the people and communities working hard to sustain long-term bushfire recovery efforts across the shire.
“It’s great news that more, critical bushfire recovery funding is being released to support a wide range of community driven initiatives, all of them focused in some way on building community capacity, cohesion and disaster resilience,” Mayor Fitzpatrick said.
“Communities are the ones deciding what they need for building wellbeing, connectedness, social recovery and disaster preparedness.”
Bega Valley Shire Council secured funding for its Community Connectors program which will build stronger partnerships between communities, local government and services and agencies working in recovery and disaster resilience; and the YouthSpeak Resilience Project which will invest in activities to help young people recover and develop resilience to future disasters and challenges in their lives.
“These Council-led projects have been identified, through our work with communities, as being critical to supporting and empowering both vulnerable young people and the community helpers who quietly go about being there for friends and neighbours,” Mayor Fitzpatrick said.
“Whilst we know there were a number of great projects that weren’t successful, we will continue to advocate for these groups and projects so they can be considered going forward.
“Sometimes community applications don’t make it up in the first funding rounds for a number of reasons, including the fact that the applications don’t fit the criteria. But that doesn’t mean they’re not worthy projects.”
He said it is vital for Council to continue to work with groups to retain community intellectual property for projects that have not been successful in attracting funding through this round.
“We are pleased that the National Bushfire Recovery Agency has now announced the Black Summer Bushfire Recovery grants program, worth $280 million, is opening soon.”
“Importantly this new funding round has an expression of interest stage built in, which will allow community groups to have their project ideas vetted to ensure they meet the funding criteria, before they invest the significant amount of time and effort needed for these submissions,” the Mayor said.
A map showing the full list of projects funded under round two of the BCRRF across the Bega Valley Shire can be found on the NSW Government website at https://www.nsw.gov.au/grants-and-funding/bushfire-community-recovery-and-resilience-fund