Media releases: 14 May 2020
Bendigo, 14 May 2020: The Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) has welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement of $650M from the Bushfire Recovery Fund to be directed to ten bushfire-affected regions.
CEO Natalie Egleton says FRRR endorses the overt focus on locally-led initiatives.
“From our 18 years’ experience in supporting disaster-affected communities, including those that have been impacted by bushfires, we know how important it is for local communities to lead their own recovery, on their terms, and focus on the things that will make the most difference for their context,” said Ms Egleton.
“Every community is different, so access to flexible funding that can help address locally-identified priorities along the recovery journey – now, and into the medium to long-term – is crucial. So we welcome the Government’s additional support.”
Ms Egleton adds that it is critical that support extends beyond immediate financial assistance.
“Strengthening social connectedness and wellbeing and stimulating economic recovery, especially in areas reliant on tourism and agriculture, will be fundamental to the recovery, and importantly the long-term strength of these communities.
“It’s vital that these communities are provided with the skills and resources that will help them to build capacity and resilience, and encourage sustainable opportunities in key areas like employment. This support should ensure that no one is left behind in the recovery and we look forward to working collaboratively with local communities, State and Territory Governments and the National Bushfire Recovery Agency to support and bolster local efforts,” said Ms Egleton.
FRRR supports rural, regional, and remote communities to be vibrant, sustainable, and adaptive. When disasters strike FRRR works patiently alongside communities in their recovery as needs emerge over time. FRRR typically focuses on providing medium to long-term recovery support, to ensure that funds are available long after the headlines have moved on.
Following the summer bushfires FRRR has granted more than $750,000 to bushfire-affected communities, thanks to the support of organisations such as The Pratt Foundation and R.M Williams. Grants will soon be announced to support children and young people through a special round of FRRR’s Back to School program, and further applications are currently being assessed through the News Corp Bushfire Fund Grants program.
Any community organisations in rural, regional or remote communities that were fire-affected are encouraged to subscribe to FRRR’s newsletter, so they know when further bushfire recovery funding becomes available.