Three Eurobodalla Shire community groups will receive more than $37,000 in Australian Government grants, Gilmore MP Fiona Phillips says.
Eurobodalla Landcare, the Coastwatchers Association and the Red Door Hall will all receive co-matched funding.
"We have had such a tough summer so I am delighted to deliver some good news to these local groups today by providing more than $37,000 for some worthy local projects," Mrs Phillips said.
Eurobodalla Landcare will receive $20,000 under the Communities Environment Program to clean up the Clyde River and provide nesting boxes for the local penguin population. The project will be delivered in conjunction with several local schools.
The Coastwatchers Association will also receive $2800 under the program to monitor the habitats and location of the local koala population.
The South Coast Health and Sustainability Alliance (SHASA) has received $14,350 on behalf of the Moruya Anglican Parish under the Stronger Communities Program to upgrade the Red Door Hall, making it a safe haven for people.
The project funded the installation of air conditioning and upgrades to improve the hall's thermal comfort, as well as a solar system and back up batteries to keep the facility running even if the power goes out.
"All of these projects will help create a renewed sense of community belonging as we recover from the bushfires, contributing to our sustainable future and caring for local wildlife," Mrs Phillips said.
She said the Red Door Hall was a vital institution in the Moruya community.
"The Red Door Community Kitchen provides a weekly free meal to people feeling isolated or financially disadvantaged. They also put on a great Christmas lunch and provide a range of other important community services," she said.
"I would like to congratulate SHASA and the church for their continued efforts to improve the hall so it can serve our community in times of need."
Mrs Phillips said she was thrilled to support community groups which played a critical role in helping and supporting people affected by the fires.
"I want to sincerely thank all our local community groups for everything they have done to care for others during the bushfires - every day I am speaking with people who are sharing these wonderful stories of our true community spirit and it makes me so proud to be part of the South Coast," Mrs Phillips said.
Preserving koala population in Shire
A Coastwatchers spokesperson said funding would be used for the Eurobodalla Koala Habitat and Occupancy Project ("The Gilmore Project").
"Using citizen science, the project will test theories about the continuing viability of koala habitat in Eurobodalla Shire - especially important now after recent bushfires," the spokesperson said.
"Fiona Phillips, Member for Glimore, visited Moruya yesterday to present the funds to Coastwatchers and meet Dr Keith Jollife who will be running the project."
The group hoped to preserve koala population numbers in the shire.
"Out of these ashes there's an opportunity," Dr Jollife said.
"Back in mid 20th century, they were around Moruya in reasonable numbers. But around 1967, a big fire came through and sightings have declined ever since."
"However, in the last couple of weeks we've heard of two new sightings since the fires. One at East Lynne and one in Bodalla State forest. This is really exciting news."
"With this grant we hope to find them and show that by preserving their habitat and thinking outside the box the social fabric and economy of this shire has all sorts of options with koalas.
"Believe me, there's money in koalas. We need to protect and promote them," he said.
Help build on our knowledge of koalas by reporting sightings to the following organisations:
National Parks: email@example.com
Forestry NSW: firstname.lastname@example.org
It has been Australia's lost summer. Drought, hail, floods and, worst of all, bushfires have ravaged communities all over the nation. But the selfless actions of friends, family, neighbours, strangers, local groups and volunteer organisations have inspired us and strengthened the bonds of community. Please join us in saying thanks to the heroes of the home front by sharing your stories of gratitude. To salute a person or a group, please use the form below.