Statement on bushfire clean-up package
Mayo MP Rebekha Sharkie says today's announcement by State and Federal Governments that they will jointly fund a $14 million clean-up program for bushfire-affected communities in South Australia is “welcome but long overdue”.
“Look, this program is absolutely welcome but really this should have been offered weeks ago in order to reduce the stress of landholders affected by the Cudlee Creek and Kangaroo Island Ravine fires,” Rebekha said.
“The Victorian Government announced their joint-funded $75 million clean-up program with the Commonwealth in mid-January and advertised it as an opportunity for fire-affected landholders to have their properties cleaned up at no cost so communities can start rebuilding as soon as possible.
“The NSW Government is also going halves with the Federal Government with a clean-up program announced in January that is expected to cost hundreds of millions of dollars given the 2,432 houses and more than 10,000 outbuildings destroyed in that state.
“As the Federal MP, I have seen first-hand the breadth of the devastation of the Cudlee Creek and Ravine fires and our communities could have done with the news of a fully-funded and far-reaching clean-up program in the early weeks of recovery.
“What we are finding is that a lot of people are under-insured or not insured and the cost of clean-up just cannot be met by the resident.
"And those who are insured need some clarity about what funding is available to them so they can prioritise their insurance money.
“Along with the recovery funding for Mount Barker Council, I have been advocating for the South Australian Government to step up and have that same partnership with the Commonwealth that Victoria and NSW have so we can help our residents clean-up.
“Recovery is going to be an enormous task and helping relieve the financial stress on our communities is the least government can do.”