More federal money for fires

MORE Commonwealth money will be spent on helping businesses recover from the devastating Tasmanian bushfires.

Among those wiped out in recent fires were the Dunalley bakery, and sawmill.

Farmers, small business owners and not-for-profit organisations will all be able to apply for federal grants of up to $25,000.

Applicants must be based in Sorell, Tasman, Glamorgan Spring Bay, Central Highlands, Derwent Valley or Circular Head areas.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the money could be used to help pay for the clean-up and restart trading as soon as possible.

``One of our priorities is to help businesses get back on their feet as these communities rebuild and recover from this tragedy. Not only have they suffered trading losses, but the cost of cleaning up is substantial,'' she said in a joint statement with Premier Lara Giddings.

Other federal grants will be made available for counter-disaster operations, and to pay for the restoration and replacement of essential public infrastructure.

Ms Giddings said the money was in addition to the emergency cash payments already going to individuals and families.

``The Tasmanian government has been working closely with the Commonwealth to ensure that the response is co-ordinated and targeted,'' she said.

Meanwhile, a campaign to help the tourism industry recover after the bushfires is under way.

Tourism Minister Scott Bacon said a group of industry and government leaders was working on a post-bushfire campaign to support regions hardest hit.

For details of Commonwealth assistance visit www.disasterassist.gov.au or call 180 2266.

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