Bushfire relief: Federal funding confirmed for Gladstone
The Gladstone community will benefit from $275,000 in funding to help bushfire recovery following a persistent effort led by the regional council.
Last month Mayor Matt Burnett wrote to Prime Minister Scott Morrison asking for a review of the decision not to award bushfire relief funding worth up to $1 million.
This week Gladstone Regional Council received confirmation from the National Bushfire Recovery Agency that it would receive $275,000 under the Immediate Support to Bushfire Impacted LGAs program to help recovery from the 2019-20 bushfire season.
The agency said the decision followed a review of the program.
Funding is provided using criteria including proportion of local government area burnt, population and number of past disasters.
Its purpose is to help with projects councils believe will help in the recovery and renewal of communities.
The agency announced an extension of its $1 million grant scheme in February, which Gladstone missed out on.
At the time Cr Burnett said council would not give up on funding until it was successful.
Today he said the $275,000 was a step in the right direction, admitting he felt a positive result was less likely given the financial pressure the Federal Government was under to respond to Covid-19.
"It's not the million dollars I think we should have received, but we were on track to get nothing," he said.
He also thanked Federal Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd for his support.
The council will work with the Local Disaster Management Group and the community to determine how the money should be spent.
Last month it resolved to waive development application fees for residents affected by bushfires looking to rebuild.
More than 100 properties were impacted by the Deepwater fires in 2018 and the Lowmead/Mt Maria fires in 2019.