14 Feb 2022
By STAN GORTON
The federal government's Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants program has finally come through with $5 million for community projects on Kangaroo Island.
Projects to receive funding include the Stokes Bay Community Hall rebuild worth $1.6 million.
The sod turning at the hall rebuild site by the Governor General only yesterday, Feb. 13, saw mention of the pending grant funding.
The other major KI projects listed are the Seed Potato Crop Development Project worth $1.9 million and a communications upgrade worth $1.7 million.
We await details but this latest communication allocation appears to be a different provider than the fixed wireless project involving Swoop telecommunications company and the KI Council.
There are other community projects across the Island listed including last resort lighting at Penneshaw, fuel facilities and outdoor recreation at American River and the rebuild of the playground at Western Districts sports club.
Projects in the Adelaide hills receiving a further $4 million in support, making a total of $9 million over 16 projects for Mayo electorate.
Senator for South Australia Andrew McLachlan CSC said the overall program funding was boosted by $110 million to $390 million to further support communities around Australia to recover from the 2019-20 bushfires.
"As part of the now $2.2 billion National Bushfire Recovery Fund, the Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants program is backing projects which affected communities have said will best support their ongoing recovery," Mr McLachlan said.
"The grants will fund a broad range of recovery and resilience projects, from social and community wellbeing right through to projects that support local jobs, small businesses and infrastructure.
"It was important that we funded projects based on local needs and which offered the greatest impact for our recovering communities. These important projects identified and funded demonstrate the real strengths of a locally led approach.
"The impacts of the devastating Black Summer bushfires are still being felt in the Adelaide Hills and on Kangaroo Island.
These grants will directly assist affected communities. I know firsthand from my volunteer work with Disaster Relief Australia in the Adelaide Hills that there are still many families hard at work rebuilding their lives and businesses. They must continue to be cared for and assisted by us all.
"Having also recently visited Kangaroo Island, I know much recovery work still remains and the Federal Government is committed to continue to support important community projects such as these."
Federal Member for Mayo, Rebekha Sharkie MP welcomed the Black Summer funding for her electorate.
"After seeing the devastation of the Kangaroo Island bushfires first-hand, I am very pleased that many of the projects that I have advocated for since 2020 have received funding," Ms Sharkie said.
"The ongoing dialogue between my office and the federal government to help the Kangaroo Island community get back on its feet is a wonderful example of how parliament can come together to achieve results."
"While the road to recovery continues to be long for many on Kangaroo Island, I am delighted locals such as Peter Lock and the Seed Potato Crop Development Project will receive funding to help his business thrive again."
Local projects funded in Mayo include:
Details of the funded projects are available on the National Recovery and Resilience Agency website at: https://recovery.gov.au/programs/black-summer-grantsView source