Recovery agency spends big on KI economy

Premier Steven Marshall at Parndana Oval with Deputy Premier Vickie Chapman, Mayor Pengilly, Liberla candidate for Mawson Amy Williams and locals Kate Murray, Stephanie Wurst, Meg Cooper, Ella Riggs. Photo: Supplied

Premier Steven Marshall at Parndana Oval with Deputy Premier Vickie Chapman, Mayor Pengilly, Liberla candidate for Mawson Amy Williams and locals Kate Murray, Stephanie Wurst, Meg Cooper, Ella Riggs. Photo: Supplied

A package worth more than $29 million aimed at addressing key issues faced by regions that were rocked by bushfires and their post-fire economic recovery was announced on Wednesday, February 24.

The funding, through the National Bushfire Recovery Fund' s Local Economic Recovery (LER) project and state government support, will fund nine KI projects ranging from addition worker accommodation to vineyard and horticulture resilience to a new Early Childhood Education and Care Centre and more.

Federal Minister for Emergency Management David Littleproud said the mix of programs delivered under the National Bushfire Recovery Fund aims to meet the short-term needs of individuals and businesses, while at the same time building sustainable and resilient communities for the longer term.

"These projects focus on bringing employment and economic benefits to these communities that have been so hard hit by the 2019-20 bushfires, and now COVID-19," Mr Littleproud said.

"Regionally-driven economic projects create jobs, attract visitors and help our regional South Australian towns thrive into the future - a great step forward in bushfire recovery."

LER funded projects impacting Kangaroo Island are:

A $800,000 project to establish accommodation, suitable for tradespeople and seasonal workers at Parndana on Kangaroo Island. Last week Major General Hocking, deputy director of the National Bushfires Recovery Agency (NBRA), identified accommodation for workers as a key priority in long-term economic recovery on KI. Read more...

A $680,000 fund to support the South Australian Apiary Industry through pollinator species revegetation information, honey variety and value awareness, and eco-tourism initiatives. This funding comes as Kangaroo Island beekeepers are on high alert for two dangerous pests that have been discovered on the Island. Read more...

More than $2.6 million to provide open-access telecommunication infrastructure, increasing internet coverage and capacity on Kangaroo Island. Read more...

A $900,000 spend to establish a small scale fibre mill enabling processing of raw fibre to quality yarn and finished garments on Kangaroo Island.

A $315,000 contribution towards a collaborative industry rebuilding and resilience project on Kangaroo Island.

More than $8.9 million towards a collaborative package of projects that will support rural landholders recover and build back better agriculture on Kangaroo Island and across Adelaide Hills and Mt Barker.

Nearly $954,000 to compliment an existing project providing accommodation for supervisors and management personnel working on recovery efforts on Kangaroo Island.

More than $5.9 million towards vineyard and horticulture rebuilding and resilience, including cherries and olives, across Adelaide Hills, Cudlee Creek and Kangaroo Island.

$1.8 million to construct an Early Childhood Education and Care Centre in Parndana to support families in the central and western part of Kangaroo Island, particularly those directly affected by the Black Summer Bushfires.

Other projects

$3 million to develop the former Onkaparinga Woollen Mills at Lobethal to create a hub supporting creative industries, increasing tourism, creating jobs and providing opportunities for learning and social connection.

$395,000 to grow wellness tourism in South Australia by supporting operators who provide nature-based and agri-tourism experiences or other wellness tourism experiences or products.

$2.5 million to rebuild existing trails and enhance facilities and infrastructure of the Fox Creek Bike Park at Cudlee Creek.

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall said funding for these 12 new projects was in addition to the $19.8 million committed to Kangaroo Island's new desalination plant, and the $150,000 in funding to help restore the Lobethal Bushland Park.

"Following consultation with local councils, recovery committees, communities and other stakeholders in bushfire-affected areas across the state, we've selected a further dozen projects that will bring employment and other benefits to impacted regions," Premier Marshall said.

"These projects will support jobs creation, attract visitors and help key local industries in those areas hardest hit by last summer's devastating bushfires."