Media Releases

Media releases from the Office of Susan Templeman MP.

Enquiries from the media should be directed to the Media Adviser via the Electorate Office on (02) 4573 8222 or via email to [email protected]


November 09, 2020


Federal Member for Macquarie, Susan Templeman, has welcomed funding for two Bilpin orchardists who lost millions of dollars’ worth of produce and infrastructure during the summer bushfires.


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.


“I have spoken to both of these businesses and they are really excited about this funding,” Ms Templeman said.


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


“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. Bilpin Fruit Bowl is 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.


“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.


“TNT Produce has 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.


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


“Of course, anything that attracts more visitors or visitors that stay longer requires the State Government and Council to provide suitable infrastructure like road upgrades, parking, toilet facilities; the basic things you need when inviting people to your area so the lifestyle for locals is protected while at the same time shoring up our local economy.”