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Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Package

The Bushfire Local Economic Recovery (BLER) Package is part of the $4.5 billion bushfire support program co-funded by the Australian and NSW governments for bushfire recovery, response and preparedness in NSW.

Two children running through a vineyard

BLER funding will support job retention and creation in bushfire impacted regions, strengthen community resilience and reduce the impact of future natural disasters.

More than $500 million will be committed to support bushfire impacted communities in three stages:

  • Stage 1 – Early co-funded projects
  • Stage 2 – BLER Fund 
  • Stage 3 – Final projects/initiatives

 

Puzzle

Stage 1 – Early co-funded projects

Through Stage 1 – Early co-funded projects, $180 million has been committed to 72 priority projects supporting economic and industry recovery. These include:

  • 22 fast-tracked local infrastructure projects in high and moderate bushfire impacted areas. These projects were selected through a process managed by the Department of Regional NSW to identify and review known projects that would deliver significant economic benefit to the region.
  • 50 Bushfire Industry Recovery Package (BIRP) Sector Development Grants supporting industry recovery. These grants were open to applications from 19 May to 26 July 2020 and all applications were put through a competitive/merit-based assessment process.

Table A – BIRP Sector Development Grants funded under the Stage 1 Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Package

 

Industry Total number of projects Total approved funding
Apiculture 5 $3,144,098
Aquaculture 9 $2,901,637
Dairy 3 $8,170,000
Forestry 16 $41,895,852
Horticulture 9 $13,528,320
Viticulture 8 $2,672,050
Total 50 $72,311,957

 

Stage 2 –  BLER Fund 

Funding through the Stage 2 BLER Fund has been committed to 195 local community projects supporting economic or social recovery, strengthening resilience and delivering ongoing community benefit.

Please note that the below map only includes BLER Stage 2 projects.

The diverse nature of the projects funded through Stage 2 was driven by the specific recovery needs of each community and guided by locally led applications. 

More than 650 project applications were received from 47 LGAs impacted by the bushfires in NSW, requesting a total of more than $1.6 billion – more than six times the original available funding.

The Department of Regional NSW led the merit-based assessment process in line with the eligibility and assessment criteria published in the BLER Program Guidelines and the Australian Government’s Local Economic Recovery funding criteria. The robust, fair and transparent process was overseen by independent probity advisors from both the Australian and NSW governments.  A copy of the Interim Probity Report Summary is available in the resources below.

The Department of Regional NSW can provide feedback to unsuccessful applicants and identify future funding opportunities where appropriate.  This may include the Australian Government’s $280 million Black Summer Grants Program.  To book a feedback session, please contact the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery team at bler@regional.nsw.gov.au

Stage 3 – Final projects/initiatives

A final package of projects and initiatives to be agreed between the Australian and NSW governments, to be designed and delivered by the end of 2021.

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