FIRE FUNDING: In a bid to assist communities in recovering from bushfire season last Summer, Newscorp and FRRR will allocate grants to various regional areas, including Wide Bay.
FIRE FUNDING: In a bid to assist communities in recovering from bushfire season last Summer, Newscorp and FRRR will allocate grants to various regional areas, including Wide Bay.

Rebuild and recover: Wide Bay communities urged to apply for grants

NEWSCORP has joined forces with a not-for-profit organisation to distribute community grants across the Wide Bay region.

Last Summer was one of the worst bushfire seasons and now that COVID-19 restrictions are starting to ease, it means affected communities can focus on starting to rebuild.

In a bid to assist all regions throughout Australia that were declared affected by local government areas (LGA), Newscorp and the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) will distribute the community recovery grants following the submission deadline for applications.

FRRR chief executive officer Natalie Egleton said through the not-for-profit’s work over the last two decades, they know the needs of every community differ.

She said this was especially true for bushfire recovery, after working to assist victims following the Victorian bushfires in 2009.

“For some communities, this support could include purchasing equipment like two-way radios, upgrading emergency evacuation centres or developing a community emergency response plan,” Ms Egleton said.

“It could be improving social connectedness and enhancing community spirit through arts programs, mental health workshops or initiatives that will bring visitors back to the community (for others.)

“We support whatever is most important to the community to help them begin to build back better and that’s why, in partnership with News Corp, we are offering grants of up to $25,000 that can be put toward any charitable project that local not-for-profit groups identify as helpful to recovery or preparedness efforts.”

The Bushfire Fund program has almost $360,000 available in grants to help get communities back on their feet.

It comes after Newscorp allocated its first round of bushfire funding which awarded nearly $370,000 in grants last month.

Chairman of the Herald and Weekly Times and News Corp Australia’s community ambassador Penny Fowler encouraged all qualifying areas to submit an application to ensure they can access the funding.

“Over the summer, there were fires across the country, from Queensland right down the eastern seaboard, as well as in South Australia and Tasmania,” Ms Fowler said.

“We want to ensure that funds are shared in all the locations where support is needed, so if you were in a fire-affected area, we encourage you to apply for a grant.”

Applications for the next round of the grants close on August 5, with further funds expected to be awarded in October.

To learn more about the grants, visit frrr.org.au/NC_bushfire_grants.