A $1.6 million funding package has been distributed to the Port Macquarie-Hastings community to assist with the recovery and repair of infrastructure following one of the worst bushfire seasons in decades.
The funding will be spread across the local government area as a part of the rebuild following Black Summer, while ensuring the community and its assets are protected in the event of future fires.
The State Government has provided $250,000 through its Bushfire Community Resilience and Economic Recovery Fund for events or initiatives to support local business and industry recovery, and events or initiatives to support community recovery and wellbeing.
The Federal Government's Commonwealth Bushfire Disaster Recovery Fund will inject support into projects and activities that council deems essential for the recovery and renewal of its community.
General manager, Craig Swift-McNair, said the funding will be allocated to a mix of council-managed and community-led projects.
"These projects have been determined following considerable engagement with our community, to ensure that there is an equitable spread across our region, and that the funding gets to where it is needed most," Mr Swift-McNair said.
"This is an important investment in our region, and will help support our residents and businesses in a time of real need.
"The funding will also go a long way to ensuring community assets and facilities are protected against future bushfires."
Community-led projects range from improvements to local halls and the installation of water storage tanks in regional communities, through to initiatives that highlight local farmers and producers and new equipment at community gathering spaces.
"There is no doubt that the last six months have been an extremely challenging time for our community, and the funding that has been made available will go some way in ensuring we are prepared should a natural disaster like the bushfires occur again," Mr Swift-McNair said.
"We are indeed an extremely resilient community, and council would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the bushfire recovery process."
The Wauchope Show Society played an important role during the bushfires, looking after livestock and offering vital community support. They have received $300,000 for improvements to the Wauchope Showground including a new amenity block and stables.
Secretary Anne Watkins said the showground is the hub of Wauchope when it comes to holding large events and entertainment.
"The funding allows us to upgrade dilapidated facilities on the grounds, which in turn secures its future for many generations to come," she said.
CEO David Carroll said the funding will make its community facilities much more usable.
"As a result it will help our community to recover from the bushfire crisis and to become more united and working together," Mr Carroll said.
Mayor Peta Pinson was supported at the May 6 council meeting in acknowledging the hardships faced specifically by the community at Pappinbarra, who have faced back to back devastation by fire since 2017.
It was agreed that on top of Pappinbarra's recovery funding allocation, council would look at other funding streams to see if additional support could be offered.
Deputy Mayor Lisa Intemann said the recovery funding was vital for the survival of local communities.
Where are the funds going?
NSW Government Bushfire Community Resilience and Economic Recovery Fund
- $20,000 Council small business workshop serie
- $10,000 Council to host three business/industry expos
- $70,000 Council Winter Destination marketing campaign
- $20,000 Camden Haven Chamber of Commerce's "Our way to Recover" video and education campaign.
- $30,000 Camden Haven Chamber of Commerce to host new event Camden Haven River Festival
- $10,000 Wauchope Chamber of Commerce's Creative Wauchope 'Social-Distancing Festival'.
- $20,000 Wauchope Chamber of Commerce's "Our way to recover" video and education campaign.
- $25,000 Council Community Resilience Workshops run in conjunction with Lifeline Australia/Mental Health First Aid
- $20,000 Council Community and Council Action teams at Regional Halls and Townships - series of small community in recovery initiatives
- $25,000 Council Support Local Business video campaign.
Commonwealth Bushfire Disaster Recovery Funding
- $120,000 Council employment of temporary community recovery officer
- $50,000 Council staff resilience training/workshops
- $45,000 Council Emergency Operations Centre Port Macquarie - upgrade communications, telephone, printing, smart projectors
- $60,000 Council community celebration for the RFS and all volunteer services on Town Green or Westport Park
- $100,000 Council marketing campaign tourism/business
- $300,000 Wauchope Showground/Show Society - $90k new amenity block, $210k contribution towards new stables
- $45,000 Bunyah Local Aboriginal Land Council - Bunyah and State Forests develop 10 person Aboriginal Cultural burning team - training program, PPE, chainsaws, mowers look after LALC properties
- $45,000 Birpai Local Aboriginal Land Council $38k for upgrade to community shed - ceiling fans, awning over footpath to bathrooms, external lighting, screening of outdoor area to keep out mozzies, $7k repairing of cooktop and rewiring outdoor kitchen.
- $50,000 Kendall Showground/Camden Haven Show Society - Kendall Showground upgrade toilet amenities, refurbish kitchen with commercial stove, fridge and preparedness as evacuation centre
- $20,000 Port Macquarie Chamber of Commerce awareness video to showcase business, local producers, buy local
- $8,200 Rollands Plains Community Association procurement and installation of equipment to aid in emergency situations for the RP Recreational Reserve: 2 door commercial fridge, gas upright stove and range hood.
- $10,000 Council with Long Flat Community and Council Action Team - Facilities at the Long Flat Football ground to accommodate a fire truck entry with water tank to fill RFS trucks for future emergencies.
- $50,000 Long Flat Hall and pre-school - install stand alone accessible (disability) toilet and linking path, ramp to hall (has steps)
- $10,000 Council with Long Flat Hall and pre-school - link to new sewerage connection ID Expenditure Project Owner Project
- $8,000 Telegraph Point Hall Telegraph Point Hall - connection to new sewerage system/waiver of connection fee
- $10,000 Council for Comboyne Hall - link to new sewer connection
- $10,000 Comboyne Museum Hurrell House - sewer connection for new toilet amenities - for future evacuation site for caravans, RVs etc
- $45,000 Council COVID Community in Recovery
- $150,000 Council erosion and sediment control. Temporary/short term control measures in fire affected landscapes where sufficient ground cover to suppress erosion and soil loss no longer exists. road side cuttings etc.
- $20,000 Council for Beechwood Hall improvements
- $20,000 Byabarra Hall maintenance
- $20,000 Comboyne Hall war memorial - hall maintenance
- $20,000 Ellenborough Hall maintenance
- $40,000 Hollisdale (Pappinbarra) Hall maintenance
- $20,000 Kindee Hall finish disabled toilet
- $20,000 Council for Lake Cathie Hall improvements
- $20,000 Council for Laurieton Arts Hall/Longworth Park Hall improvements
- $20,000 Council for Pembroke Hall maintenance
- $20,000 Rollands Plains Hall maintenance
- $20,000 Telegraph Point Hall improvement (disabled toilet construction)
- $40,000 Belangry Community and Council Action Team with PMHC Woodlands Reserve works
- $467 Long Flat. Contractor JR Richards to remove rubbish and rubbish bins left from stranded travellers due to bushfire road closures (completed).