Following the 2019-20 bushfires, the NSW Government established the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Package (BLER) to support job creation and retention in bushfire impacted areas, strengthen community resilience and reduce the impact of future disasters.
Over $500 million is available through the BLER, which is co-funded with the Commonwealth. Stage one of the BLER distributed $180 million, split between 22 identified fast-tracked infrastructure projects and 50 grants targeted at specific bushfire-impact industries. Stage two of the BLER distributed $283 million to 195 community projects across bushfire-affected local government areas. Stage three has not been announced.
This audit will assess how effectively the Department of Regional NSW and Resilience NSW administered rounds one and two of the BLER. We will assess this with the following audit criteria:
- The agencies effectively planned administration of the BLER and established appropriate guidelines
- The agencies implemented an effective assessment process for the BLER
- The agencies are effectively monitoring implementation of projects and program outcomes.