Wright MP Scott Buchholz and Scenic Rim mayor Greg Christensen urge locals to provide ideas on bushfire recovery projects

RECOVER: Wright MP Scott Buchholz and Scenic Rim mayor, Greg Christensen announce Regional Bushfire Recovery and Development Program.
RECOVER: Wright MP Scott Buchholz and Scenic Rim mayor, Greg Christensen announce Regional Bushfire Recovery and Development Program.

WRIGHT MP Scott Buchholz said COVID-19 would not take the government's focus away from helping people.

"Despite the coronavirus pandemic, we've still got our focus on those communities that were already doing it tough due to drought and fire," he said.

Mr Buchholz said farmers, businesses and households were battling to recover from the 2019 bushfires and the announcement of a Regional Bushfire Recovery and Development Program was good news.

However for bushfire hit communities, the recovery process looked different as COVID-19 added another layer of complexity.

"There are residents and business owners, particularly with agricultural interests, suffering direct damage to property, land, and livestock.

"And then there are owners and workers in the tourism and hospitality industry, great local cafes, restaurants, accommodation, and tourism sites, that support our tourism-economy," he said.

Scenic Rim mayor Greg Christensen said council would begin the process of accessing and reviewing the criteria to pursue appropriate relevant projects that could not be accommodated in previous funding.

"This program also offers more direct funding with individual property owners beyond what is already available under the community recovery bushfire funding. Council will assist in promoting opportunities for landholders and the wider community," Cr Christensen said.

While many residents and businesses may not have been directly impacted by the fires, they now face the tough economic conditions that have resulted from drought, fire, and COVID-19.

Mr Buchholz said the Regional Bushfire Recovery and Development Program was wide-ranging and urged Scenic Rim locals to provide ideas on bushfire recovery projects through his office.

While there was no set amount for each region, all bushfire affected communities across the country would share in the $448.5 million fund with every project considered on its economic and community recovery merit.

"Projects could include initiatives that promote economic activity and support community wellbeing, projects can also focus on the landscape and water, replacing produce and stock, or building future resilience," Mr Buchholz said

To nominate projects or for further information about the program, Scott Buchholz office can be contacted by email: scott.buchholz.mp@aph.gov.au