Australia — Community projects, psychological support services and other programs for bushfire-affected towns will receive another $20.5 million from the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund (VBAF).
Towns hardest hit by the Black Saturday bushfires will receive $13.5 million for community projects, while $7 million will be allocated statewide for other projects.
Psychological and youth support will receive $3.5 million, on-ground assistance will receive $2.9 million, bereavement support $500,000 and support for displaced people $100,000.
VBAF community advisory committee chairman Alan Brown said the allocations reflected more than 350 submission and proposals received during community consultations around the state.
“Ongoing psychological support, particularly for young people, was the number one priority raised in the public consultations, while further assistance for property recovery and clean-up was also a key issue,” Mr Brown said in a statement.
Each community will be able to run a range of local projects from their grant allocations.
Community groups will be contacted early in the new year to finalise their bids and proposals for projects and the details of most of these will be announced soon after that.
The VBAF raised $391 million from donations made Australia-wide in the months following the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires, which killed 173 people.
About $320 million has already been spent, with about $70 million, including the allocation announced on Wednesday, not yet spent but committed to ongoing projects.