Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Investment fund to boost bushfire affected economies

Joint Media Release with:

  • John Brumby, Premier of Victoria

Premier John Brumby and Federal Minister for Families, Jenny Macklin, today announced the recipients of $6.2 million in grants for projects to expand existing businesses and establish new businesses in areas affected by the 2009 Victorian bushfires.

More than 30 capital grants of up to $500,000 have been awarded to support the establishment of new businesses and expansion of existing businesses under the Commonwealth and Victorian government $10 million Victorian Bushfire Business Investment Fund.

A further $3.8 million will be invested towards the construction of a new regional conference centre in Marysville to drive the next stage of economic and social recovery.

The Victorian Bushfire Business Investment Fund was established as a stimulus to create new jobs and attract business investment in communities affected by the Black Saturday and Gippsland fires by inviting new businesses and expanding businesses to apply for capital grants.

Grants will be provided for projects to re-establish existing retail, accommodation and tourism-based facilities and for construction of new retail, food, manufacturing and forestry businesses in areas including the Kinglake Ranges, Marysville and Triangle, Gippsland and the Yarra Ranges.

“We will continue to stand by communities as they rebuild their lives, homes and communities after the worst natural disaster in Australia’s history,” Mr Brumby said.

“The businesses receiving grants are making capital investments of between $125,000 and $5.3 million, providing a massive boost to local economies with the creation of a more than 200 jobs as well as 100 construction jobs per year over the next two years.

“The successful applicants have shown their investment will promote business and economic activity, create new jobs with the projects combined to leverage over $30 million in investment.

“Today’s announcement builds on the $51 million in assistance provided by the Commonwealth and Victorian governments in the immediate aftermath of Black Saturday for small businesses damaged or destroyed in the bushfires which made available low-interest loans and cash grants.”

Ms Macklin said the Victorian Bushfire Business Investment Fund was set up to drive economic recovery in fire ravaged areas, by promoting new capital investment or encouraging destroyed or damaged businesses to return.

“These grants will help businesses move back in to the bushfire affected towns, which is key to the recovery of these communities,” Ms Macklin said.

“We expect local communities will benefit greatly from the arrival of new businesses and the re- establishment of old ones. It will mean locals will have places to go out to eat, see friends and do shopping, as well as providing more jobs.

“The Gillard Government will continue to support the ongoing recovery and rebuilding in communities affected by those terrible fires.”

The Victorian Bushfire Business Investment Fund attracted a range of applications from businesses, which were each subject to a rigorous assessment by independent business advisors and subsequently reviewed by a joint State and Federal government assessment panel.

The Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority is continuing to work with other potential investors interested in developing a large-scale tourism-based business in Marysville to further promote business growth in the hardest hit township.

Projects to receive funding include:

Marysville and Triangle

  • Re-establishment of the Marysville Patisserie;
  • Reconstruction El Kanah Guesthouse;
  • Re-establishment of Blackwood Cottages;
  • Establishment of luxury eco-cabin accommodation, Cathedral Range Nature Taggerty;
  • Ascape Luxury Japanese accommodation in Marysville;
  • Photographic and video exhibition;
  • Re-establishment of Dalrymples Guest Cottages & Melina Cottages; and
  • Construction of new pharmacy in Marysville.

Kinglake Ranges

  • Re-establishment of Rosewood Cottage, Kinglake;
  • Construction of an eco tourism facility including accommodation and conference/training facilities at Kinglake;
  • Construction of a free range egg production farm in Kinglake West;
  • Upgrade of the Kinglake Hotel and development of new family cabin tourist park with conference facilities;
  • Construction of a shed, tea room, office and expansion of a wholesale protea flower business in Kinglake West;
  • Establishment of a caf’e with retail sales in Kinglake;
  • Establishment of a guesthouses in Kinglake Central; and
  • Establishment of a printing business in Kinglake.


  • Construction of an IGA supermarket and associated facilities in Meeniyan;
  • Establishment of new saw mill in Jindivick;
  • Expansion Mirboo North engineering premises;
  • Refurbishment of Tarra-Bulga Guesthouse and Lyrebird Caf’e; and
  • Construction of new restaurant facility in Drouin East.

Other areas

  • Purchase of and further development and existing accommodation in Yarra Glen;
  • Establishment of printing services in Strathewen; and
  • Extending existing hardware facility in Whittlesea.