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Black Summer victims to get extra $110m

Communities still struggling to recover from the devastating 2019-20 bushfires will receive a further $110 million in federal support.

The extra funds boost the overall total of the government’s Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants program to $390 million.

Emergency Management Minister Bridget McKenzie says the money will provide additional help to meet the medium and long-term recovery needs identified by affected communities.

“The grants will fund 524 broad recovery projects, from social and community wellbeing through to projects that will support local jobs and help small businesses grow and prosper,” she said in a statement on Saturday.

“Funding will also assist in rebuilding community infrastructure that was lost or damaged in the fires, such as new emergency services facilities.”

The recovery grants are part of the $2.2 billion National Bushfire Recovery Fund.

“We listened to the communities impacted by the 2019-20 Black Summer Bushfires and developed this program so projects submitted were of value and importance to those communities,” Senator McKenzie said.

“We received a large number of applications, demonstrating the great need for, and the importance of, community advocacy.”

The Department of Industry made the initial assessments as to eligibility and thereafter eligible applications were referred to the National Recovery and Resilience Agency.

The government’s Business Grants Hub will notify applicants of the outcome of their proposals in coming days.

Senator McKenzie said in August 85 per cent of then promised federal support for Black Summer bushfire victims had been delivered.

The fires burned 24 million hectares of land, destroyed 3000 homes and wiped out three billion animals.

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