Bushfire funding aids recovery


Noosa Mayor Clare Stewart has applauded the Federal Government and Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien for their investment and commitment to our community.

Under the Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Program, a raft of initiatives have been funded.

The Noosa Leisure Centre will get a new lease on life with improved functionality as an emergency evacuation centre, with two grants totalling $1.24 million.

Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Llew O'Brien today announced the Noosa Shire Council will receive $695,000 to restore the Centre’s plumbing and bathrooms, and to install CCTV equipment.

“Noosa Leisure Centre is the priority evacuation centre in the region, and was used by up to 500 people a day during the 2019-20 bushfires, so this funding will be used to replace and restore worn-out fittings that are nearly 30 years old, and will improve functionality and safety during use as an evacuation centre and also during times of normal use as a community facility,” Mr O’Brien said.

Noosa Mayor Clare Stewart thanked the Federal Government and the Federal Member for their commitment to improving the liveability of Noosa.

“This funding provides lasting tangible solutions for our community recovery and ongoing resilience and enhances a key facility in Noosa,” she said.

Innovative bushfire detection technology will undergo pilot trials at Noosa’s FireTech Laboratory, with Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Llew O'Brien announcing a $979,875 grant for the project.

Mr O’Brien said the grant would extend the Firetech Connect commercialisation program for a further two years, delivering a series of critical technology pilot trials for bushfire preparedness, prediction, detection and intelligence at Noosa’s Living Laboratory, a set of purpose-built facilities that simulate real-world bushfire environments.

Noosa Shire Council will receive $778,000 for a VHF communication system for community facilities including local halls and key buildings, and a further $393,695 to facilitate a two-year program of community engagement and disaster resilience activities with a disaster resilience officer.“The new VHF infrastructure will replace the existing outdated system and will be installed at key locations such as evacuation centres, hospitals and community halls that are prone to isolation in severe weather, allowing the Noosa Local Disaster Management Group and supporting agencies to maintain contact during times of natural disaster,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The program led by the Noosa LGA Disaster Resilience Officer will also help determine and address the needs of the community during natural disasters, and support community initiatives to build resilience and capability to respond during emergency events such as the bushfires which affected the region in 2019.”
Cr Stewart said the funding was fantastic news for the shire and its ongoing recovery from the 2019 bushfires.

“This federal funding certainly provides much needed financial relief while significantly improving our resilience for future events,” she said.

“As a council we are continually putting a significant focus on fire management measures and initiatives to support community resilience.

Cr Stewart said these type of initiatives generate a terrific return on investment in terms of liveability, improved community infrastructure and preparedness for any future natural disaster.