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 is supporting job retention and creation in bushfire impacted regions, strengthening community resilience and reducing the impact of future natural disasters.

More than $500 million has been committed to support bushfire impacted communities through immediate, medium and long-term funding.

Early co-funded projects

Through the 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 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 – Sector Development Grants funded under the 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

BLER Fund 

The BLER Fund is supporting 195 local community projects that promote economic or social recovery, strengthen resilience and deliver ongoing community benefit.

The diverse nature of these projects 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 is working with funding recipients to monitor and manage project budgets. Recipients experiencing cost escalations and organisations that were intending to apply for the final round of the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund are encouraged to contact bler@regional.nsw.gov.au

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