A new laboratory trialling bushfire-fighting technologies will be created in Noosa, with support from a $1,894,503 jointly-funded grant through the Local Economic Recovery program, Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Llew O'Brien announced today.
Mr O'Brien said the grant would help establish a FireTech Laboratory in Noosa, in which promising bushfire-resilience technologies could be trialled, demonstrated and fast-tracked towards use in the fight against bushfires.
"The funds will be used for a Data Lab, where solutions for predicting and detecting bushfires, analyzing influencing factors, response coordination and communication can be trialled and showcased," Mr O'Brien said.
This is one of 12 projects just announced by the Australian and Queensland governments, to support local economic recovery in parts of Queensland that were hit hard by the 2019-20 bushfires.
"Significant work is already being done at Noosa in the area of bushfire-fighting technology, and this is a further boost to the region's reputation for innovation, as well as providing a welcome investment into Australia's bushfire security," Mr O'Brien said.
In addition to the grant for FireTech, a further $110,684 grant will allow for road corridor vegetation clearing works at Lake MacDonald, Kin Kin, West Cooroy, Cootharaba, and Cooroy Mountain, reducing overgrown vegetation and fuel load on a number of rural connector roads that provide access to and around the Noosa Shire.
The projects are part of a joint investment of $36.8 million for locally-led bushfire recovery projects, announced in August by the Australian and Queensland governments.
The funding will support a range of projects in 13 local council areas determined by the Queensland Government that were most heavily impacted by last year's bushfire season, including Noosa Council.
Queensland communities affected by the 2019-20 bushfires were encouraged to talk to their council about priorities for recovery, so local needs could be reflected in the projects councils put forward for funding.
Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud said these projects, which are in addition to the six Queensland local economic recovery projects announced in October, are the next step towards recovery from the impacts of the Black Summer fires and the continued journey towards building a better future for their area.
"Recovery works best when governments throw their support behind local ideas and solutions, and that's exactly what we're doing through this local economic recovery funding," Minister Littleproud said.
"All up, there's $36.8 million from the Australian and Queensland governments for tangible, on the ground projects in fire-affected regions, so there will be further projects announced soon.
"These grants are a sign of our strong confidence in these communities and their long-term futures."
Funding for Local Economic Recovery projects is just one of the initiatives supported by the Australian Government's National Bushfire Recovery Fund, which is worth more than $2 billion. To date, more than $1.8 billion in Australian Government support has been provided to help bushfire affected communities, including $1.2 billion spent so far from the National Bushfire Recovery Fund.
Details of successful local economic recovery projects in Qld – and across other states - are available on the National Bushfire Recovery Agency website at www.bushfirerecovery.gov.au/local-recovery-projects