$57 million awarded to help regional communities recover from the 2019-20 bushfires

The NSW Government has awarded a total of $57 million for bushfire recovery to public land managers over the past month to help them manage waste and environmental damage in the ongoing clean-up after the 2019-20 bushfires.

Many regional communities were ravaged by the 2019-20 bushfires and continue to require support to deal with their ongoing waste problems. These grants will create regional jobs, while providing a much-needed boost for our regional areas - many of which are still rebuilding after the bushfires

The October announcement awarded $33 million to 15 local councils to help them collect, manage, and recycle 165,000 tonnes of green waste, as well as thousands of kilometres of burnt fencing waste as part of the NSW Government’s bushfire recovery assistance.

The November announcement awarded a further $24 million to the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Crown Lands, and 15 local councils to help them remove and deter illegal dumping of waste at more than 100 sites, as well as repair and future-proof council landfills.

The funding is part of the NSW Government’s $4.5 billion bushfire recovery investment, which is continuing to help local communities with clean-up, temporary accommodation, and industry support. The council landfills program funded by the NSW Government is ensuring councils are not financially disadvantaged by having accepted 2019-20 bushfire-generated waste at their landfills.

Since the bushfires, the EPA has worked with regional communities to make sure these programs address the real challenges they’re facing on the ground. With input from public land managers, five individual programs were developed to address ongoing waste and recycling challenges faced by fire-impacted communities.  The five programs address issues relating to Green Waste, Aboriginal Lands, Rural Fencing Waste, Illegal Dumping and Council Landfills.

The three programs targeting illegal dumping, fence recycling and council landfills are funded by the NSW Government, while the green waste and Aboriginal lands clean-up programs are funded under the joint Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

The Aboriginal Lands Clean-Up Program has been assisting Local Aboriginal Land Councils since February 2021 and will spend over $8 million removing waste and restoring lands impacted by the bushfires.