The Bilpin Fruit Bowl and TNT Produce to receive Federal/State Funding to support recovery effort

The summer bushfires were the cause of much devastation and led to the loss of millions of dollars' worth of produce and infrastructure for two Bilpin orchardists.

The Bilpin Fruit Bowl and TNT Produce have been announced as receiving funding through the Commonwealth/State Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund for "pick your own fruit" projects.

Macquarie MP Susan Templeman with Bilpin Fruit Bowl owner Margaret Tadrosse. Picture: Supplied.

Macquarie MP Susan Templeman with Bilpin Fruit Bowl owner Margaret Tadrosse. Picture: Supplied.

Macquarie MP Susan Templeman welcomed the funding and said that both businesses were excited about the announcement.

"Both of these businesses and other orchards received no government compensation for produce that was destroyed when the bushfires swept through in December 2019," she said.

"The losses don't stop with one year's crop - it takes about five years to re-establish an apple orchard, so they are still looking at years to recoup that income.

"For one of the businesses, the new grant - which they have to match - will help them diversify to offset that."

Ms Templeman said the Bilpin Fruit Bowl was earmarked to receive $1.23 million.

"To clean-up, replace and upgrade existing fire damaged infrastructure, and develop a new 8,000 square metre energy efficient hot house that will allow for undercover "pick your own" strawberries," she said.

"By diversifying into berries, the business can extend its picking season and provide more economic certainty for the local region, hopefully extending the tourist visits beyond the traditional apple season."

Ms Templeman said TNT Produce had been announced to receive more than $1.1 million.

"To build a 500 square-metre Colorbond shed to facilitate entry to the orchard for "pick your own" fruit, and to purchase additional equipment to assist with the expected increase in the crop coming from the rebuilding of the orchard," she said.

"These businesses are understandably pleased to see something that gives them hope about what their future sustainability looks like."

Comments