Ipswich City Council has received $620,000 to support economic and social recovery and improve resilience in the city following the 2019 Queensland bushfires.
Two council projects were approved for the funding in the second round of the $36.8 million Local Economic Recovery Program, jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Queensland governments.
The funds will be used to improve the trailheads at Hardings Paddock and build a new meeting space within Fire Station 101.
Local Disaster Management Group chair, Mayor Teresa Harding thanked the State and Commonwealth governments for supporting council to boost the city’s disaster resilience.
“The works at Hardings Paddock and Fire Station 101 will assist with building resilience within our community and also provide long term economic, social and health benefits to Ipswich residents,” Mayor Harding said.
“We are a resilient city but we cannot rest on our laurels and levels of government, community organisations and businesses can play a role in building resilience in our city in preparation of future natural disasters.”
Around $340,000 of the funds will be used for the Hardings Paddock project which will provide better access to the conservation estate for emergency vehicles, and help boost tourism and bring more visitors to Ipswich.
The remaining $280,000 will be used to build a new meeting space within Fire Station 101 at Ipswich Central that will be used as council’s small business development hub and, in times of disaster, an Economic Recovery Centre for local business.
Local Disaster Management Group deputy chair, Councillor Kate Kunzelmann said council would provide additional funding to progress the projects.
“Council will provide an additional $175,000 across the two projects, with works on Fire Station 101 expected to commence before June this year and at Hardings Paddock in July 2022,” Cr Kunzelmann said.
“An additional project has been submitted by council for Local Economic Recovery funding focussing on working with local businesses and community groups to build resilience. It is currently under assessment.”
Ipswich was one of 13 local government areas across the state identified in the 2019 Queensland Bushfires Local Economic Recovery Program.
The program is administered by the Queensland Reconstruction Authority on behalf of the Commonwealth and Queensland governments.