Council areas of Wangaratta and Towong will be the big winners of federal government funding that will provide more than $9 million for road and community infrastructure improvements in Indi.
The funding, announced on Friday, included $1,554,045 for Wangaratta Council.
Wangaratta chief executive Brendan McGrath welcomed the extra funding.
"The bringing forward of financial assistance grants helps with council's cash flow, which has been impacted by COVID-19," he said.
"Our municipality has one of the largest road and bridge networks in the state and this has been reflected in the significant funding made available."
Towong Council had the next highest total with $1,166,232, plus there was $1,068,549 for Indigo, $710,300 for Alpine and $541,081 for Wodonga.
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The funding was allocated based on the roads to recovery program, which looks at the road network within a council area.
Part of the federal government's 2020-21 financial assistance grant will also be paid early, but councils had not been informed how much they would receive.
The money could fund projects such as bridges, tunnels, street lighting or truck rest areas and the government said it would work with councils to get them started as soon as possible.
Senator Bridget McKenzie said the package would bolster spirits as well as the economy.
"I'm delighted to see these councils included because it has been such a tough 2020 for the North East with fires and then COVID-19," she said.
"The assistance will get locals into jobs and upgrade key infrastructure and roads.
"I'm sure Towong and Alpine, which have a small population and thus fewer ratepayers, will appreciate this economic boost.
Senator Jane Hume said the money would create jobs and improve roads and facilities to help communities stay connected.
"Every single job we support makes a huge difference in our local communities, especially now as we navigate out of the coronavirus pandemic and recover from the summer's bushfires," she said.
Indi MP Helen Haines said the grants were welcome, but called on the government to publish its criteria for allocating funding, including any consideration of the compounding economic hardship resulting from the bushfires and coronavirus.
"This funding will go a long way in communities that battled the black summer bushfires and are now facing COVID-19," she said.
"The recent sports rorts saga is still fresh our minds.
"We need to be assured that the program will address real need, not political imperatives".