Millions of federal dollars will pour into state government accounts on Friday before being delivered to bushfire-stricken councils across Australia.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison identified 42 councils eligible for $1 million payments and committed another $18 million to the worst-affected local governments.
Administrating the cash will be streamlined to avoid recipients getting bogged down in red tape so the rebuilding can begin immediately.
President of the Australian Local Government Association David O’Loughlin said rebuilding was the priority but some money would be set aside for community events to boost resilience.
The bushfires have killed 27 people and destroyed 2131 homes across the country.
Mr Morrison said the government is pulling together a mental health package, and Labor wants it to include unlimited Medicare-rebatable counselling sessions.
Federal Emergency Management Minister David Littleproud and the head of the newly-established bushfire recovery agency, Andrew Colvin, are working on a support package for bushfire-affected businesses.
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Mr Littleproud said the package that would see small businesses eligible for loans up to $500,000 that are repayment-free for two years will be announced imminently.
© AAP 2020