LGs to help coordinate funding for 10 regions hit by Covid, fires

Ten regions impacted by bushfire, Covid-19 and drought will share $100 million in Commonwealth funding over two years to support recovery and growth.

The money will flow to the “priority investment regions” in the form of investments coordinated with local and state governments.

The regions to be supported under the new Regional Recovery Partnerships program include:

  • The Snowy Mountains;
  • Hunter and Newcastle;
  • the Parkes region;
  • Cairns and Tropical North Queensland;
  • Gladstone;
  • Mackay-Isaac-Whitsunday Regions;
  • all of Tasmania
  • the Gippsland Region;
  • Kangaroo Island; and
  • Western Australia’s South West Region.

Federal Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Minister Michael McCormack said the regions had been selected because data suggested “their economies have experienced the brunt of natural events such as bushfires, or COVID-19, and drought – or because they create an opportunity to work closely with other levels of government to make sure those regions are well-placed to contribute to national resilience and growth”.

As well as unveiling the Regional Recovery Partnerships program in a speech to the Reginal Australia Institute on Wednesday, Mr McCormack announced plans for an additional $30 million investment in the Regional Connectivity Program (RCP) to support the delivery of reliable, affordable and innovative digital services and technologies in regional Australia.

Councils are being advised of the additional RCP funding and the extended deadline for applications in a letter from the Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government Mark Coulton.

Grant guidelines for the RCP can be be found on the GrantConnect website.

Mr McCormack’s speech also outlined a new $5.7 million Resilient Regional Leaders Initiative to support the skills development of current and emerging leaders.