Scenic Rim Welcomes Funding Assistance

Scott Buchholz MP & Mayor Christensen tour fire zone in the Scenic Rim, November 2019.
Scott Buchholz MP & Mayor Christensen tour fire zone in the Scenic Rim, November 2019.

Federal Member for Wright, Scott Buchholz and Scenic Rim Mayor, Greg Christensen have welcomed an announcement by the Australian Government for further Disaster Funding for the region.

Earlier today, the Australian Government announced $60 million in further assistance for 42 local government areas across Australia. 

The Scenic Rim will receive support in the form of an urgent $1,000,000 funding boost. The funding will be provided through the National Bushfire Recovery Agency, to assist Council with clean-up and recovery efforts. 

Federal Member for Wright, Scott Buchholz welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement and said he had been putting the case for further community recovery assistance.

“The Scenic Rim has been hit hard on a number of fronts by recent bushfires. We were one of the communities first hit, with the Canungra, Beechmont, Illinbah and Sarabah fires in September 2019.

“Following that, we experienced further fires at the other end of the district, in Tarome, Aratula, Moogerah and up Cunninghams Gap. 

“The region and many assets have taken a real hiding in recent times. Today’s announcement will provide Council with financial relief and increase their capacity to get on with the job of community recovery,” Mr Buchholz said. 

The lump sum payments will be delivered by the Commonwealth to State Governments who administer payments to councils by the close of business Friday 10th January. Funds are expected to flow to the Council within days, to undertake projects sooner.

The only condition placed on councils is that they develop a Program of Works within three months and report back to the Commonwealth in 12 months’ time.

Councils will be able to spend their $1 million payments 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.

Scenic Rim Mayor, Cr Christensen welcomed the support of the Australian Government and the funding that would flow to the region.

“Having experienced the most significant bushfires ever witnessed in the Scenic Rim, we applaud the Australian Government for making these funds available so quickly after the National Bushfire Recovery Agency was implemented. 

“With the fires impacting a wide range of Scenic Rim communities, and each with diverse needs, we will be working closely with our communities on planning and prioritising the use of funding to best support the recovery of our region,” Cr Christensen said.

The Australian Government will deliver the funding through the new Bushfire Recovery Agency, announced earlier this month with an initial investment of $2 billion dollars.

The funding is in addition to a recent announcement by the State and Federal Governments, providing a $6 million tourism recovery package for Southern Queensland.

About Keer Moriarty 62 Articles
Editor, journo, social media manager and tea lady with Canungra Times.