Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan today announced an additional $40 million worth of initiatives to help regional communities and businesses recover from the devastating 2010-2011 Victorian floods.
Speaking at The Nationals State Conference in Shepparton, Mr Ryan said the funding included $30 million for the Flood Recovery Community Infrastructure Fund and $10 million for the Victorian Business Flood Recovery Fund.
"The Flood Recovery Community Infrastructure Fund will support councils and community groups restore flood-affected local assets," Mr Ryan said.
"This includes infrastructure such as playgrounds, swimming pools, sporting facilities, picnic areas and recreational walkways which were badly damaged by severe and repeated flood events across Victoria."
Minister for the Environment Ryan Smith said the Flood Recovery Community Infrastructure Fund would help stimulate local economies and restore important community infrastructure.
"Applicants under the new $30 million fund will be encouraged to use local contractors for flood recovery community infrastructure projects," Mr Smith said.
"This will provide substantial benefits in terms of stimulating regional economies, creating employment and opportunities to increase skills."
Mr Ryan said the $10 million Victorian Business Flood Recovery Fund would deliver flexible assistance that could be tailored for businesses to expand existing regional operations or establish new operations in flood-affected regions.
"This will drive the creation of new jobs and investment across a range of sectors including tourism, agriculture, food, forestry and energy," Mr Ryan said.
"The Coalition Government is committed to working closely with all of Victoria's flood-affected communities to help them recover and put these challenging times behind them."
The Flood Recovery Community Infrastructure Fund will be jointly administered by the Department of Planning and Community Development and the Department of Sustainability and Environment. The Victorian Business Flood Recovery Fund will be managed by Regional Development Victoria.
Today Mr Ryan also confirmed the Victorian Government had successfully negotiated a revised agreement with the Commonwealth that immediately secured $500 million under the National Disaster Relief Recovery Arrangements for flood recovery efforts in Victoria.
"The revised agreement significantly reduces the onerous and unnecessary oversight measures originally put forward by the Federal Government and will allow the focus to be on recovery efforts, not red-tape," Mr Ryan said.
"I am pleased the Commonwealth has seen sense on this issue and agreed to a revised bi-lateral agreement that is specifically targeted to Victoria."