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NSW bushfire funds impacting long term recovery

19 January 2023

The third anniversary of the Black Summer Bushfires is upon us. Bendigo Bank’s Bushfire Disaster Appeals has announced the recipients of its South Coast and South East NSW Bushfire Recovery Grants Program. These grants have been facilitated by the Bank’s charitable arm, Community Enterprise Foundation.

Foundation’s focus is to assist in the continued relief, recovery, reconstruction of communities. Work is continuing to strengthen communities and people affected by the Black Summer Bushfires.

Communities are still recovering, and with the impact of COVID-19, it's critical support continues. They recognise recovery is a long term prospect.

A total of $508,970 is being distributed to 16 successful applicants. South Coast and South East regions continue with the long rebuild from the devastating Black Summer bushfires.

Director of Community Bank Pambula and Bega, Colin Dunn, said it’s in the Community Bank’s DNA to build stronger communities now and into the future.

“Three years on from the fire these projects continue to bring our community together. Community connection is so important to building resilience", Mr Dunn said.

“Our communities were hit hard, and we still have a long way to go with recovery. It certainly is a marathon, not a sprint. That’s why these funds are still vital three years after the devastation. It’s not only about recovering what we lost but also about making us more able to cope in the future.

"Projects funded include Bega Showground Community Centre and Lions Club of Pambula Merimbula multi-function trailer. These and other projects will continue to provide a lifeline to the community and help prepare us for future disasters.

“We're grateful that Bendigo Bank’s Community Enterprise Foundation continues to support us. Their work is through a community-led approach to working with their partners,” Mr Dunn said.

Bega Local Aboriginal Council CEO, Leanne Atkinson, said many will benefit from the half a million dollars of grant funding.

“The local Aboriginal community will benefit hugely, along with the broader community,” Ms Atkinson said.

“The landscape is a stark reminder of the events of 2019/20. Healing the landscape can assist in healing everyone connected with the landscape.

“The ecosystem, including the wildlife, is critical to the overall health of the environment. Our project seeks to help heal the people and country.

“I thank Bendigo Bank and Community Enterprise Foundation for their support with these grants,” Ms Atkinson concluded.

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