Latest News

» Latest news » Darren Chester MP

Federal bushfire fund rip off on East Gippsland must be prevented says Darren Chester

East Gippsland community groups will be ripped off if the Federal Government doesnt boost the regions allocation under the $280 million Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants Program, according to Federal MP Darren Chester.

By news@gippsland - 25th August 2021 - Back to News

Federal MP Darren Chester joined with State MP Tim Bull and local Mayor Mendy Urie to write to the Prime Minister last month, seeking a review of the East Gippsland Shires allocation of just $4.5 million. They are yet to receive any response from the Prime Minister or the Minister for Emergency Management Bridget McKenzie.

Local MP Darren Chester said a redeveloped Omeo streetscape is one of more than $25 million worth of projects seeking bushfire recovery funding

Local MP Darren Chester said a redeveloped Omeo streetscape is one of more than $25 million worth of projects seeking bushfire recovery funding

Funding should be weighted to region

Mr Chester said, "Given the extent of damage, and the excellent projects which have been submitted for funding, we will be ripped off as a region if the East Gippsland allocation remains at $4.5 million under this program."

"But it can be prevented. The program is meant to fill in the gaps from previous funding initiatives and focus on community-led projects in the regions most adversely impacted by the Black Summer bushfires."

"The funding should be weighted to regions which suffered direct damage, not just flow on impacts. It defies logic that $27 million has been notionally allocated to six Councils in north-east Victoria and just $4.5 million to East Gippsland. To add insult to injury, the Canberra bureaucrats have allocated funding based on Local Government Areas which discriminates against Victoria because we amalgamated four or five Councils into one.

Huge amount of unmet demands

Mr Chester said he was aware of more than $25 million worth of grant applications to be submitted from East Gippslanders, which could be eligible for funding. "If East Gippsland Shire hadnt gone through the amalgamation process, under this lazy Canberra policy process, we would be eligible for $22.5 million."

"I warned the bureaucrats and the Ministers office three months ago that there was a huge amount of unmet demand in our region for bushfire recovery grants. Its because East Gippsland suffered the most damage in Victoria and it should receive a fairer share of the $280 million on offer." Mr Chester said.

Highlighted the regions losses

In the letter to the Prime Minister, the East Gippsland community leaders highlighted the regions losses in the fires

  1. More than half of the East Gippsland LGA was burnt (1.1 million hectares)
  2. More than 60,000 people are estimated to have evacuated East Gippsland as a result of the warnings issued by emergency authorities
  3. Three people died in East Gippsland and 410 residential properties were destroyed, along with 27 commercial properties
  4. The cumulative impact of economic losses as a result of drought, bushfires and COVID-19 has entrenched the socio-economic disadvantage experienced in one of the most vulnerable regional communities in Australia.

"Im not suggesting the other municipalities dont deserve some funding but the program should be based on actual bushfire impacts. The communities which suffered the most direct damage should receive the most funding to help the recovery process," Mr Chester said.

"The Canberra bureaucracy and the Ministers responsible have clearly made a mistake and rather than stubbornly plough on and make it worse, they should increase the allocation to East Gippsland and any other Shire that was actually burnt. I have no intention of giving up the fight for a fair go for Gippsland."

Pictures from Darren Chester MP website.


Source: http://gippsland.com/

Published by: news@gippsland.com



If you are the author of this story you can edit it by clicking here


Related Articles

 

 

 

 

Baw Baw Bass Coast Cardinia East Gippsland Latrobe City South Gippsland Wellington
© 2001-2021 gippsland.com Print this page | Subscribe to Newsletter | Feedback / Inquiries | Login
Care has been taken in compiling the component parts of this website. However, Gippsland.com does not warrant or represent that the website is free from errors or omissions, that the qualifications claimed by an advertiser are valid or that the published details of any advertiser are as stated on the website. Please review the full statement of our Terms and Conditions of Service and disclaimer.