BLAZEAID is set to receive a $250,000 funding boost from the state government, to ensure the refencing of farms continues on bushfire-devastated Kangaroo Island.
The funding boost will be used to subsidise ferry fares from Cape Jervis to KI for BlazeAid volunteers who complete at least five days of service on the island over the next 12 months.
The KI fires impacted more than 211,000 hectares, much of which was farmland.
BlazeAid volunteers are already on the island repairing damaged fencing.
Human Services Minister Michelle Lensink said the funding would alleviate some financial pressure for BlazeAid volunteers heading to KI.
"For farmers affected by bushfires right across the state and nation, BlazeAid provides a priceless service helping the community get back on their feet," she said.
"Volunteers are the lifeblood of our communities and dig deep in times of need.
"Thank you to each and every person who has volunteered following the state's recent devastating bushfires and to those who will do so in the weeks and months ahead."
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BlazeAid co-founder Kevin Butler welcomed the funding, saying up to 4000 BlazeAid volunteers were expected to aid KI over the next year.
"We have a diverse volunteer base, from wheat farmers to Danish firefighters, and this will allow them to contribute to the island holistically, while also supporting local business," he said.
"It's a win for all involved - from the BlazeAid volunteers themselves and the KI farmers who will benefit from the work, to the local businesses who will welcome volunteers through their doors and the broader community recovery.
"There is great interest from our volunteers to support the local economy, so I expect to see many of them working for the five days to qualify for the free fare, and then spend a couple of days touring the island."
COMMUNITY RECOVERY PACKAGE FOR SA
THE $250,000 is part of an initial $4.55-million state and federal government-funded community recovery and resilience package, which will be rolled-out across the Adelaide Hills, Rural City of Murray Bridge, Mid Murray and KI regions.
It also includes:
- A $1.3m Community Recovery and Resilience Program for community recovery officers and target grants for local recovery efforts; and
- A $3m Tourism Recovery Package for marketing assistance in the tourism reliant areas.
A further $1.4m will also support a targeted community recovery and resilience effort in the Mount Barker District Council area.
The federal government has also agreed to extend and meet the full cost of the top up for the Small Business and Not for Profit and Primary Producer grants for the Coorong and Southern Mallee district councils.
This will mean that small businesses and primary producers directly impacted by fires in these two additional Local Government Areas will be eligible for up to $50,000 and up to $75,000 respectively.
Ms Lensink welcomed the additional funding support provided by the federal government.
"This total package will enable SA communities to get vital cash flows moving, build back infrastructure and support communities to recover from the devastation of the fires," she said.
- Details: dhs.sa.gov.au/recovery