The Australian and Victorian Governments have invested in local projects under the Risk and Resilience Grants Program to further protect our communities from bushfires, floods and other extreme weather events.   

Member for Monash Russell Broadbent welcomed the announcement saying local organisations would benefit.

“These risk reduction and mitigation initiatives will better prepare our communities and reduce the loss and suffering that is so often caused by natural disasters,” Mr Broadbent said.

“Baw Baw Shire Council have received grants under this funding round for bushfire and flood management.  

“The Risk and Resilience Grants Program recognise that locals know what’s most important for their community.

“The grants recognise that locals know what’s most important for their community – giving them the help they need and the power to make their hometowns better.”

Among the latest round of grant recipients are Baw Baw Shire Attentis Sensor Installation, Static Water Supply for Walhalla and Flood Mitigation Study for Hazel Creek, Warragul and Contour Drain, Trafalgar.

The grants program is part of the National Partnership Agreement on Disaster Risk Reduction, which aims to reduce the risk and impact of natural disasters in line with the National Disaster Risk Reduction Framework.

Under the Risk and Resilience Grants Program, recipients make a co-contribution towards an initiative that is focused on identifying and mitigating potential natural disaster risks, such as climate change adaptation, designing resilient infrastructure and developing strategies to manage the local and regional risks of natural disasters.

Further information about the Risk and Resilience Grants Program is available on the Emergency Management Victoria website at https://www.emv.vic.gov.au/how-we-help/grants-and-awards/risk-and-resilience-grants-program

Local governments in Monash have received their second 2021-22 quarterly payment through the Federal Government’s Financial Assistance Grant program.  

Federal Member for Monash, Russell Broadbent said the funding is untied, allowing councils to spend the grant according to their own local priorities.

“Local governments are vital to building safer and stronger communities,” Mr Broadbent said.

“They are an important delivery partner for the Federal Government’s economic stimulus packages and play a critical role in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Councils in Monash have received the following quarterly payment:

• Bass Coast Shire Council $953,537

• Baw Baw Shire Council $1,389,874

• Cardinia Shire Council $1,588,058

• Latrobe City Council $1,845,294

• South Gippsland Shire Council $1,426,809

Assistant Minister for Local Government Kevin Hogan said a total of $2.7 billion in untied Federal funding was allocated for local governments in 2021–22.

“The Federal Government prepaid around half of the allocated funding in June 2021, the remainder will be paid through these quarterly payments across the year,” Mr Hogan said.

“We know the early payment is a valued support to councils, particularly in regions that have faced the combined impacts of bushfire, drought, floods and COVID-19.”

“Across the nation, local governments employ around 194,000 people and deliver a wide range of services in the cities, regional towns and remote areas of Australia.  This support will continue to bolster Australia’s economic recovery.”

Since 1974–75, the Australian Government has provided local governments with almost $60 billion in untied funding through the Financial Assistance Grants program.

For more information, visit https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/territories-regions-cities/local-government/financial-assistance-grant-local-government

Member for Monash Russell Broadbent virtually blessed the opening of Stage 1 of St Angela of the Cross Primary School that was funded by the Coalition Government.

Mr Broadbent said students and staff would benefit from the new facilities including six general learning areas, an administration area, staff offices, amenities and associated spaces.

The Coalition Government provided $1,750,000 for the project through the 2019 round of the Capital Grants Program, which provides funding for non-government schools to improve capital infrastructure.

“It is great to see how the community will benefit from the new facilities which will have a positive impact on the students,” Mr Broadbent said.

“St Angela of the Cross Primary School has a wonderful school community, and these new facilities will further enhance the learning environment.

“We are ensuring that every child gets a quality education no matter where they go to school. School funding has increased every year under our Government.

“Our Government is providing record funding for government schools, for Catholic schools and for Independent schools.

“We are delivering real, needs-based funding that is matched by national reforms that will drive better results and outcomes, as recommended by David Gonski in his Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools.

“Our Government is funding improved facilities at schools, like St Angela of the Cross Primary School, as part of our commitment to education.”

More information about the Capital Grants Program is at https://www.dese.gov.au/payments-and-grants-schools/capital-grants-non-government-schools.

Financial assistance is now available for Victorian businesses affected by prolonged power outages following severe storms on 29 October.

Assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie said the Prolonged Power Outage Payment will help those businesses that remain without power or were without power for more than seven days.

“Financial support of $2,500 per week, for up to three weeks, has been extended to all eligible businesses without power,” Minister McKenzie said.

“We know that being without essential power is incredibly difficult, and we want to ensure businesses get the support that best suits their needs under these circumstances.

“The Australian Government is working closely with the Victorian Government and stands ready to provide further assistance as required.”

Victorian Minister for Emergency Services Jaclyn Symes said the Prolonged Power Outage Payment will support businesses through the financial hardship caused by the ongoing impact of the storms.

“This money will help businesses to pay wages, rent and other expenses employers need to keep operating,” Minister Symes said.

“We understand this has been a really stressful time for communities. The introduction of the Prolonged Power Outage Payment for businesses will take some of that stress and pressure off people as they recover.”

Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio said the business support payment is being provided in addition to the $1,680 per week Prolonged Power Outage Payment for impacted residential customers, also co-funded by the Australian Government.

“We know communities have done it tough due to power outages, which is why we are stepping in to make sure businesses, employers and impacted residents have the financial support they need to keep businesses going and begin the recovery work,” Minister D’Ambrosio said.

“Businesses with an annual payroll of less than $10 million can apply for $2,500 per week for up to three weeks if they were without power as of 12.01am Friday 5 November 2021.”

AusNet Services and United Energy will administer the Prolonged Power Outage Support Payment and contact eligible customers.

For more information on how to apply, AusNet Services customers can call 1300 561 171 or visit www.ausnetservices.com.au.

If your business is in a United Energy area, call 1300 783 882 or visit www.unitedenergy.com.au.

Information on disaster assistance is also available on the Australian Government’s website at www.disasterassist.gov.au.

NBN Co has announced a sixth tranche of suburbs and towns across Australia that will become eligible to upgrade to NBN’s Fibre to the Premises (FTTP), with Australians in Monash set to benefit from access to ultra fast broadband.

Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said today’s announcement would bring the total to 1.6 million premises of the 2 million target.

“This next stage will see another 200,000 premises eligible, many of which are in the Monash electorate, which will drive significant benefits to the community,” Minister Fletcher said.

“NBN Co will now work with its construction and delivery partners to get premises in the Monash region ready to upgrade to ultra fast speeds when they choose to do so.

“This represents a key part of NBN Co’s $3.5 billion investment that will see 75 per cent of Australia’s fixed line network able to access ultra fast broadband by 2023.”

Russell Broadbent, member for Monash said towns and communities across the region would benefit from being able to access ultra fast broadband.

“This will create jobs in the community, ensure local businesses can access the speeds they need to thrive, and improve connectivity for families in the entire region,” Mr Broadbent said.

“Households and businesses in towns such as Cape Paterson and Wonthaggi will be able to access NBN Co’s fastest internet plans of up to 1 gigabit per second, on demand by 2023.”

For more information on the NBN, go to www.nbnco.com.au

The Australian Government will provide $14,460 to two organisations in Monash helping to preserve our wartime heritage as part of more than $800,000 in funding from the Saluting their Service (STS) Commemorative Grants Program.

Member for Monash Russell Broadbent said this funding for Garfield Primary School and Leongatha and District Historical Society ensures the ongoing recognition of our Australian servicemen and women.

“It’s important that the service and sacrifice of our local veterans is recognised and remembered through these community initiatives.  Garfield Primary School will create a small commemorative garden at the front of the school and Leongatha and District Historical Society will be publishing and distributing the book titled ‘Forgotten for Too Long – the Gippslanders in Lark Force 1941-42”, Mr Broadbent said.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Andrew Gee said communities across Australia are proud of their military history, our local veterans who have served our nation and their families who have supported them.

“Our local communities recognise the importance of commemorating and honouring the contribution of our servicemen and women and all that they have done for our nation,” Minister Gee said.

“Whether it be restoring the HMAS Diamantina in Queensland, installing a flag pole in a school’s Anzac memorial garden or helping our local museums display wartime memorabilia, this funding will help ensure that our local communities and our nation never forgets the men and women who have served Australia.

“It’s encouraging to see so many applications for funding in this round for such a wide range of projects, both big and small.”

A full list of successful applicants is detailed below. For further information on the next round of STS grants visit the Community Grants Hub website.

Financial assistance is now available to residents and local governments in Bass Coast and South Gippsland to support households who remain without power and assist council clean-up and restoration efforts after the damaging storms last week.

Assistance will be provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

Member for Monash Russell Broadbent said the severe weather that hit the region on 29 October 2021 left extensive debris, damaged roads and widespread power outages in its wake.

“We know that being displaced after these kinds of emergencies is incredibly difficult, and the impacts of the storm continue to be felt across Bass Coast and South Gippsland,” Mr Broadbent said.

“This disaster assistance will help impacted residents to remove any debris from the storm and re-establish their homes as quickly as possible,” Mr Broadbent said.

“The Prolonged Power Outage Payment is available to help families that remain without power to buy necessities, source other forms of fuel or power, or find alternative accommodation.

“Local councils will also be supported with the costs of their clean-up and the restoration of public infrastructure, including roads.

“This disaster assistance will be an important contribution to region’s recovery as we rebuild and get back on track.”

Eligibility criteria for Prolonged Power Outage Support Payments can be found on your electricity distribution business’s website.

Information on disaster assistance is also available on the Australian Government’s website at www.disasterassist.gov.au

In a boost for community organisations across regional Australia, the Morrison Government has today announced the opening of the new $3 million Culture, Heritage and Arts Regional Tourism (CHART) program, to be delivered in 2021‑22.

Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said the CHART grants program would support regional and remote communities to re-emerge from the COVID 19 pandemic.

“The program will help successful applicants including museums, galleries and historical societies to stage events and improve their facilities to encourage tourists to return to regional areas, providing a much needed boost to their local economies,” Minister Fletcher said.

Under the program, community museums, galleries, and historical societies in regional Australia will be able to apply for grants of up to $3,000. Funding will support activities that encourage cultural tourism, through the preservation of Australia’s cultural heritage and, in particular, the telling of the stories of local communities.

Federal Member for Monash Russell Broadbent said the funding will assist local communities and economies to re-emerge from the pandemic.

“With the Morrison Government’s support, we will help rebuild our local economy through the development of collections or exhibits, improved facilities for visitors, and the digitisation of local heritage collections for future generations to enjoy,” Mr Broadbent said.

“I encourage Monash arts, cultural and heritage organisations to apply for a CHART program grant today – this will assist us to continue to offer appealing cultural tourism experiences in our regional community.”

The Australian Museums and Galleries Association (AMaGA) is delivering the program on behalf of the Government. Applications will close on 29 April 2022 or once all funding is expended, whichever comes first. For more details visit the AMaGA website at www.amaga.org.au/chart.

The Morrison Government is investing more than $1 billion into the arts and creative sector in 2021‑22.

Federal Member for Monash Russell Broadbent said students from regional areas who started university this year could still apply for a scholarship worth up to $18,000.

Mr Broadbent said Round 5 of the Australian Government’s Rural and Regional Enterprise Scholarship (RRES) program has scholarships available for eligible students who commenced study in 2021.

“If you haven’t previously considered what financial support might be available, this is a fantastic opportunity for students from regional and remote communities from Monash,” Mr Broadbent said.

“Round 5 is still open to students who are undertaking courses from Certificate IV to PhD level and who started their study in 2021. I encourage everyone who is eligible to apply.”

Minister for Regionalisation, Regional Communications and Regional Education Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie said the Australian Government had committed more than $62 million for the program since 2017.

“The RRES program has delivered more than 3,000 scholarships to help students from regional and remote communities access a tertiary education,” Minister McKenzie said.

“These scholarships have provided vital financial support to many students, some of whom may otherwise not have been able to afford higher education.

“The Australian Government is ensuring that no matter where you live you can benefit from our world-class tertiary institutions.

“We want to provide as many opportunities as possible for individuals in regional and remote Australia to pursue further study, and relieving the financial burden is one way to help them to do that.”

For more information and to apply, visit https://www.qtac.edu.au/rres-program/

The Morrison Government is supporting the return of live music, with Sandy Point Music sharing in more than $2.5 million, as part of round three of the Live Music Australia program.

Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said the program will bring more original live Australian music to communities across the country – from pubs in the remote outback, to clubs in major capital cities.

“This funding will help the live music sector to re-emerge as Australians continue to get vaccinated and COVID-19 restrictions ease, allowing venues to begin to reopen and rebuild,” Minister Fletcher said.

“It is important that our live music sector will be primed to host performances and gigs when permitted to do so, and by supporting these local venues now, we are increasing opportunities to see Australian artists get back on stage.”

Federal Member for Monash Russell Broadbent said the funding will provide much-needed support for local live music venue to rebuild, while also stimulating the economy and igniting excitement back into our community.

“I’m pleased to announce that Sandy Point Music have received $28,367 for the Sandy Point Summer Series through round three of the Live Music Australia Program,” Mr Broadbent said.

“This critical funding will support the Sandy Point Summer Series in presenting a sequence of original live music events, supporting both local and national music artists.”

A Spokesperson from Sandy Point Music said they are excited at the opportunity to restart the Summer Series in 2021-2022 with the generous funding provided through the Live Music Australia Program.

“The Funding will allow us to invite back our local artists and production crews to present live music to our supportive and understanding audience as we navigate our through the easing of restrictions on numbers.

“We have a great line-up of events scheduled over the summer months. You can find our more about the program and Sandy Point Music at www.facebook.com/sandypointmusic,” the Spokesperson said.

This funding brings the Government’s investment to more than $8 million since the start of the program, supporting more than 300 live music venues and the recovery and sustainability of the live music sector.

Applications for round four of the program will open later this year, with funding to support venues from mid-2022 as they continue to re-establish regular programming of original live Australian music.

The Morrison Government is investing more than $1 billion into the arts and creative sector in 2021-22.

For the list of round three recipients and for information on how to apply for round four, visit: www.grants.gov.au or www.arts.gov.au.

Farmers and primary producers in Monash are a step closer to benefitting from the Liberal and National Government’s new Australian Agriculture Worker Visa.

The Government amended the Migration Regulations on 30 September 2021 to create the Australian Agriculture Worker Visa (Ag Visa) and continue along the pathway of providing an agriculture visa that will help secure the future of rural and regional Australia.

This historic announcement that the Ag Visa is now law ensures the visa will help secure the long-term labour force our farmers in Gippsland need.

Member for Monash Russell Broadbent said the Agriculture Visa will also create a pathway to permanent residency for those workers who will help secure the future of our region.

“We promised this Visa and here it is. The creation of the Ag visa under the Migration Regulations is landmark moment for the sector and delivers on our promise to have it in place this year,” Mr Broadbent said.

“The Ag Visa will be the biggest structural change to agricultural workforce in our nation’s history and producers in Gippsland are poised to be able to grab the benefits with both hands.

“The visa will be available to seasonal workers, skilled and semiskilled workers.

“And is not just those on the farm that benefit, the fisheries, forestry and agricultural processing sectors and will also get access to workers under this visa.

“Worker restrictions have always been a problem, but it has been taken to the next level with COVID and the subsequent international and internal borders.

“We now have a visa that will give Gippsland a long term, reliable workforce for our agricultural industries.

“The Liberals and Nationals will always stand up for regional and rural Australia, and with this Agriculture Visa we have again delivered.”

Today’s regulation provides a new Australian Agriculture Worker stream which will provide for the entry and temporary stay of workers across primary industries sectors.

This provides the pathway for workers to arrive with first worker arrivals once partner country negotiations are complete. Any workers will also need to meet necessary Federal and State quarantine requirements.

Fast Facts:

The Liberal and Nationals Government is investing in the future of Monash with $9.9 million in funding for five projects under Round 5 of our highly successful Building Better Regions Fund.

Projects to receive funding include:

Federal Member for Monash Russell Broadbent said the Government’s investment will deliver better facilities and economic opportunities for the region.

“The Liberal and Nationals Government is delivering the services and infrastructure our communities deserve,” Mr Broadbent said.

“We are backing these projects so local people have the facilities for the future, while creating jobs to boost our economic recovery.

“These projects will ensure our communities continue to be great places to live, work and play by encouraging tourism, visitation to the regions and protecting the environment

“I have worked closely with local councils and community groups. It’s great to be part of a Government that will listen to and deliver for our community.”

Under Round 5 of the BBRF, the Government has committed almost $300 million to support 295 projects across regional Australia, which will create an estimated 9,900 jobs during the project period.

This latest funding round takes our total support through the BBRF to $1.38 billion across nearly 1,300 projects.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the Government is focused on ensuring our regions remain strong.

“The Liberal and Nationals Government is continuing to work hard on behalf of Australians living in regional and remote communities,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“That’s why we’ve committed an additional $100 million under this latest round to take total funding to almost $300 million. This extra funding will support more projects, more jobs and create more economic opportunities in our regions to boost their recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Funding for these projects in Monash is a testament to the dedication of Russell Broadbent MP.

“Funding under the Building Better Regions Fund supports economic and social infrastructure for the long-term benefit of regional communities.

“Infrastructure upgrades funded in this latest round will ensure our regions remain great places to live and visit, while helping support important regional industries which create jobs.

“Our Government is committed to delivering the best outcomes for regional and remote Australia, which is why we are providing local businesses, industries and families with opportunities to get ahead.”

For a full list of successful projects, please visit: www.business.gov.au/bbrf

Russell Broadbent MP
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