Over 20,000 Australian plant hire companies have walked through our doors at STG – and in this economic environment we want to pitch in and help our customers and the broader industry re-invent itself to meet the needs of the market.

2020 has been a terrible year already, but in all the flux – there is many opportunities emerging for enterprising plant hire companies to lend a hand in the relief efforts.

Bushfire Relief Construction, Remediation and Recovery Projects and Grant Funding
It almost seems as if everyone has forgotten the 19/20 bushfires happened – after the news media became obsessed with COVID-19. But the reality is that there is a massive bushfire relief effort underway now, including a huge number of remediation projects that need plant, equipment and labour in the regional towns and areas affected.

There is also several initiatives, companies, banks and government entities seeking to support and fund remediation projects for the long-term benefit of the local communities where the fires occurred. Below we break down the opportunities for businesses who supply to areas in, or close by to the bushfire ravaged communities.

As per the grant schemes below – you can design and pitch an idea at these funding scheme providers and have the grant pay for the work to be done. Alternatively – the grants and money will flow to the end user (ie, primary producers, small businesses or residents) and you need to hustle to partner up with them to undertake the work the grant is provided for. If you have a plant hire company that services an area that is affected by the bush fires – then we suggest you jump in your Hilux and go and create yourself an earthmoving or construction project from thin air.

Laing O’Rourke Bushfire Clean Up Program (NSW):
The Public Works Advisory of NSW has appointed Laing O’Rourke as the principal contractor in the bushfire clean-up project. They have instructed Laing O’Rourke to hire as many skilled local contractors as possible in the clean-up effort.

The effort includes the clean-up of debris and hazardous materials, including asbestos, removal and remediation of homes that were lost, removal of trees and other natural debris, fixing damaged driveways and removal of concrete materials. There is also plenty of road repair projects on offer. You need to register with the PWA and Laing O’Rourke to supply to this scheme.

Find out more here: https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/register-opt-nsw-bushfire-clean

Grocon & Bushfire Recovery Victoria:
Grocon has been appointed as the principle contractor in Victoria to manage the bushfire recovery projects in regional areas of Victoria. Eligible property owners, primary producers and small businesses can apply for the funding and grants for repair, remediation and construction projects associated with their businesses and homes that have been affects by the fires. People seeking work done apply through the link below – whereas plant hire companies and equipment providers wishing to supply to the effort need to register through Grocon.

Find out more here: https://www.vic.gov.au/bushfire-clean-up-program

Wires Landcare Grants:
These grants provided to Landcare or environmental groups that are undertaking projects to rehabilitate the habitat of animals (up to $200K per project) – most of these projects that need earthmovers to remove burnt brush and fauna. Our suggestion would be to form an alliance or partner with these groups in your local area, who then apply for the funding.

Find out more here: https://landcareaustralia.org.au/wireslandcaregrants

St George Foundation Bushfire Assistance Grants:
St George is providing eligible company’s grants up to $500K for projects that assist in physical repairs to affected areas, recreational and respite projects for community areas and other community services that need to be relocated due to the fires.

Find out more here: https://www.stgeorgefoundation.com.au/apply/bushfire-assistance-grant-guidelines

Regional Tourism Bushfire Recovery Grants:
$10 million in grants to support regional tourism has been locked and loaded, and administered by Austrade. The fund is about setting up events, both small and large – in regional areas that encourage tourism. Now, we’re betting that domestic travel will be opened up in Australia within the next month or two – which means that entrepreneurial folk in small towns should get together and cook up some events to stage.

Whilst events mightn’t be your bread and butter – if you have fencing, toilets, generators, lighting, mobile site buildings or site preparation equipment, then you could be in the money, provided you hitch your wagon (pun intended) to a local event planning organisation.

Find out more here: https://www.austrade.gov.au/australian/tourism/tourism-and-business/grants/regional-tourism-bushfire-recovery-grants

Emergency Bushfire Support for Primary Producers:
Provides grants up to $75,000 for primary producers including farmers, fishermen and forestry businesses to remediate their businesses (outside of any funds provided by their insurance policies). These grants will be made directly to the primary producers – however many of them will require plant, equipment and earthmoving services to get their businesses back on-track.

It can also be used for the hiring and purchasing of equipment in the relief effort, labour, repairs, salvaging crops and WATER CARTAGE! Yep – water cartage! Anyone with a STG water cart will be sitting pretty and ready to work for your local primary producer. We recommend a letterbox drop in the area and see if you can’t partner up with a local farmer or primary producer.

Australia-wide initiative: https://www.agriculture.gov.au/ag-farm-food/bushfires/primary-producers

South Australia primary producer support: https://www.pir.sa.gov.au/emergency_management/bushfire_support/financial_support_after_a_bushfire

Banks Relief Funds – The Big Banks:
In an effort to look like good blokes (when they rarely are) the banks of all released bush fire assistance funds that seek to provide small businesses with grants of between $2K – $5K to help these businesses get back on their feet. This includes grants towards equipment, remediation project, repairs, fencing and various other construction tasks that might be necessary to re-establish a business. They are also offering better credit terms for these businesses so they can reinvest. Below are the links:

NAB Bushfire Relief: https://www.nab.com.au/about-us/social-impact/customers/natural-disaster-and-crisis-support

Westpac Bushfire Relief: https://www.westpac.com.au/help/disaster-relief/bushfires-recovery-support/?cid=wc:BRA:RELIEF_2001:sem:goog:_westpac%20bushfire%20relief_e&gclid=Cj0KCQjwhZr1BRCLARIsALjRVQOeLp8LGwfNDKbnpd__U4pil3ao4KE4bSJ6XO6vJfES9ILNnM2_Z9AaAgDsEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

CommBank Bushfire Relief: https://www.commbank.com.au/latest/bushfire-appeal.html

ANZ Bushfire Relief: https://www.anz.com.au/about-us/sustainability/community/disaster-relief/

If you would like a complete list of the projects, funds, initiatives and community groups providing support to the bushfire relief effort in Australia – you can find it below.

Happy hunting.

Here is the full list of bushfire relief projects and initiatives: https://www.fundingcentre.com.au/bushfire-relief-grants/

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