Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Treasurer Dominic Perrottet have announced $1 billion over the next two years to rebuild bushfire impacted communities across NSW.
The funding will prioritise the repair and rebuilding of vital infrastructure including, roads, rail lines, bridges, schools, health facilities and communications facilities.
“This money will provide an immediate source of funding to ensure key infrastructure is restored so that communities can get back on their feet as soon as possible,” Ms. Berejiklian said.
“The bushfire season is far from over but we know how important it is for communities to start the recovery process where possible.”
The NSW and Federal Government’s also announced $33 million will be immediately distributed to councils across the state who have been severely impacted by bushfires.
Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock has guaranteed that the State Government will distribute funds to councils within one business day following it clearing the State’s bank account.
“We will not delay in distributing these funds to Councils most in need,” Ms. Hancock said.
Each council will receive $1 million and a further $18 million will be distributed at the discretion of the new National Bushfire Recovery Agency.
“This funding is essential and will allow Councils to start the reconstruction of local infrastructure, including roads, bridges and community facilities.”
“Councils will also be able to use these funds to employ additional local staff to help coordinate and expedite the building effort,” Ms. Hancock said.
Ms. Berejiklian said following initial discussions with the Federal Government, it has been confirmed that the Federal Government contribution will focus on direct payments to individuals, small business and local councils.
“The NSW Government’s focus will be to rebuild and where appropriate, improve the infrastructure,” Ms. Berejiklian said.
The $1 billion funding will help to ensure recovery work can commence promptly.
This announcement is on top of the NSW Government’s disaster assistance funding for this bushfire season of up to $231 million already committed.
- $166 million to fight fires on top of the record 2019/20 RFS Budget
- $25 million to facilitate the clean-up of both insured and uninsured homes damaged or destroyed by the fires.
- $23 million for grants of up to $15,000 for primary producers and small businesses to assist with clean-up and the replacement of infrastructure
- $6 million for additional mental health services for individuals, community groups and emergency services personnel
- $11 million to fund the Economic Recovery and Community Resilience Grants Program.