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Bank joins with Victorian Government to help rebuild bushfire affected communities

22 April 2009 |Media centre

The Brumby Government, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank and its charitable arm - the Community Enterprise Foundation™ - have joined forces to set up a $4 million fund to help rebuild community infrastructure and promptly provide jobs in Victoria’s bushfire-affected communities.

Regional and Rural Development Minister Jacinta Allan and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Managing Director Rob Hunt today announced the Bushfire Recovery Community Infrastructure Program would provide grants up to $300,000 to regional, rural and interface council-and-community projects.

The program will be equally funded by the Government and the Foundation, which will commit $2 million in donations it raised through the Bendigo Bank network to help support these communities impacted by the damaging fires.

“The Brumby Government is delighted to join with Bendigo and Adelaide Bank to take action to help these communities rebuild by replacing or improving essential community infrastructure,” Ms Allan said.

“This funding will enable councils and local groups to immediately undertake vital activities in rebuilding and helping their communities recover from February’s devastating bushfires.”

Mr Hunt said the Bank’s close ties with local communities made it a good partner for Government in the rebuilding process.

“People donated $7 million to our Foundation bushfire appeal because they know the money will be directed to projects of long-term value that are identified by the communities themselves. Collaboration between the community, local councils, the Government, the Bendigo and its Foundation will almost certainly improve the outcomes achieved.

“This particular program will be essential in helping communities to rebuild because infrastructure forms the basis from which all future community prosperity can be generated.”

Ms Allan and Mr Hunt said the fund was targeted at projects that:

replaced lost or damaged or improve existing community infrastructure;
contributed to economic development; and
demonstrated wide community use and benefit.
Works such as renewing historic buildings, developing township entrance points, street scaping, developing rail trails and walking tracks, meeting places, tourism infrastructure and water-use efficiency projects are being targeted.

Ms Allan and Mr Hunt encouraged community groups to work with their local councils and charitable groups in developing projects and applications.

Ms Allan said the $2 million Brumby Government funding would be provided over two years through Regional Development Victoria’s Living Regions Living Suburbs program.

“Living Regions, Living Suburbs is helping to deliver on the Brumby Government’s commitment to provide bushfire-affected communities with greater opportunities for growth by supporting community and economic development,” Ms Allan said.

Click here to view the announcement video.

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