Growcom has secured a grant to deliver a new bushfire recovery and resilience program for Central Queensland horticultural growers who were significantly impacted by bushfires in late 2019.

The grant will fund the Bushfire Recovery and Resilience in Horticulture Industry – Central Queensland Pilot Project, a collaborative program between Growcom, the Livingstone Shire Council and community.

The project aims to accelerate the recovery of bushfire impacted
commercial horticulture growers, and enhance the industry’s capacity to be resilient, adaptable, and prepared to the increasing risks of bushfire in Central Queensland.

Project Manager Michelle Haase said Growcom will work in partnership with the horticulture community and stakeholders in Livingstone Shire Council to build resilience and aid recovery within the region.

“Planned activities under this project include the development of a bushfire preparedness and recovery kit for horticulture producers; events for growers, stakeholders and community to capture experiences and learnings from the recent bushfires; and practical workshops on effective bushfire hazard reduction practices,” Ms Haase said.

“Our aim with this project is to better prepare those communities at risk during bushfire season, in turn reducing impacts on commercial horticulture and agriculture production systems.”

The grant is part of a $1.8 million commitment from the Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) towards the long-term recovery of Queensland communities affected by the 2019 spring-summer bushfires.

Minister for Communities Coralee O’Rouke said the range and geographic spread of successful grant recipients reflects the widespread destruction of last year’s bushfires.

“The projects receiving funding will assist communities with bushfire season preparations, community preparedness, and equipment to assist with disaster mitigation, community events and upgrades to community infrastructure,” Mrs O’Rourke said.

This project is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland Governments under the Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) and is due to be completed by September 2021.