Cudlee Creek landholders receive bushfire recovery grants
Landholders impacted by the 2019 Cudlee Creek fire who missed out on previous funding are receiving a share in almost $225,000 of new grant money, delivered by the Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board, and made possible through the State Government’s $2.7million Catchment Recovery funding package.
Environment Minister David Speirs is pleased that this round of funding will support landholders who are now in a position and ready to undertake necessary land management practices.
“The Catchment Recovery funding is supporting fire-affected landholders to build new resilience into their properties, helping them restore biodiversity and rebuild productive landscapes.
“The recovery process takes time so delivering funding incrementally allows landholders to re-engage with their land when they are ready and able.
“They have been through a lot in the past two years and I am confident that this funding will result in positive collaborations between neighbouring properties, partners and contractors to help the regeneration of landscapes and bolster the local economy,” he said.
Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board General Manager, Michael Garrod, said this round of funding has come at a welcome time for fire-affected landholders.
“In 2020, after the Cudlee Creek bushfire, fire-affected landholders were offered natural resource and land management grants.
“Many took up this opportunity, but some were busy rebuilding infrastructure, others needed more time to plan recovery actions, and some people just weren’t ready emotionally to re-engage with their land after the loss they had experienced,” he said.
“We’re delighted to provide these new grants which total $224,700 to support 49 property owners to help their land recover after the fire.
“The Cudlee Creek fires affected the community in many different ways. Recovery is not just about the first few weeks post-fire. It involves listening to the community and working with them to respond to emerging issues in the landscape. That is why it is so important to have a recovery program that runs longer than just a few months,” said Mr Garrod.
The new grants are worth up to $5000 per property and can be used for land management activities including:
Weed control:managing weed growth after fire - within native vegetation, in paddocks and along creek lines.
Pest animal control:strategies to manage rabbits and foxes.
Land and water management:erosion control, stock water points, land class fencing, repairing pasture and soil management.
Revegetation activities:plant supply, associated materials and planting services.
All landholders are due to receive their grants by mid-February 2022.
Grant recipient and Harrogate landholder Al Jawhari said he will use his funding to protect his creek from livestock.
“We believe waterways and catchments are a critical component for our ecosystem, especially for native plants and birds,” Mr Jawhari said.
“Prior to the bushfire we had the creek area fenced off to keep sheep and cattle away and we’ve been investing a lot of time and money to plant native species.
“We lost the fencing during the bushfire and had partially restored it. With the grant we will finish the fencing, which will allow us to resume the creek planting and restoration process,” he said.
Find out more about bushfire recovery programs offered through the Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board and to sign up to the board’s dedicated bushfire recovery newsletter, Budburst.