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]


March 11, 2020



Federal Member for Macquarie, Susan Templeman, welcomed the Labor Shadow Ministry to Mt Tomah today (Wednesday, March 11) as part of a plan to support bushfire affected communities.


“We wanted to take the lead in showing businesses that you need to put your money where your mouth is, and take your meetings to areas that have been hit by fires, to boost the local economy,” Ms Templeman said.


“So I asked my colleagues to head up the night before and stay – which some were able to do on both the Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury sides of the electorate – and then join me for breakfast and a tour of the Bilpin area.


“I told those who couldn’t join us for the whole morning to do their own stops for apple pie, cider or coffee at villages along the way, and I was pleased to see they followed instructions with posts about local businesses popping up on their social media.”


For the formal visit, Bilpin’s Pines Orchard was the first stop for breakfast, followed by a stop at Hillbilly Cider to see where the flames went over the new shed, and then onto the Bilpin Fruit Bowl.


Owners representing businesses operating from Bilpin and Kurrajong to the Richmond Lowlands were at the meeting, designed to give the Shadow Ministers deeper insight into the impact of the fires and current recovery process.


“Shadow Ministers representing portfolios from tourism to small business to infrastructure were able to hear first-hand how these devastating fires not only destroyed property but have had a lasting effect on our economy because of the slow recovery effort,” Ms Templeman said.


“These conversations will help us to keep pushing for what is really needed by small businesses and by people who have property losses.”


Captain of the Mt Wilson Rural Fire Brigade, Beth Raines, who lost her home during the fires, addressed the Shadow Ministry at Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens in Mt Tomah, sharing her experience and frustrations, including around insurance.


Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese and Ms Templeman also met with WIRES volunteer Morgan Philpott who has been caring for three rescued koalas.



Kurra Kellie came into care as the direct result of the bushfires, which tore through the tree that RFS volunteers found her on. While she didn’t suffer burns, she is recovering from her ordeal, sharing an enclosure with Mudgee Marine, who was starving in an area where eucalyptus trees are dying.


Huntress, a two-year-old female, was discovered by an off-duty Hawkesbury police officer in January and has been carefully nursed back to health from extreme sickness.


Both Mr Albanese and Ms Templeman congratulated volunteers from WIRES and other rescue services for the heartbreaking work they were doing in the wake of the fires.


“Too many native animals died in the tragic summer bushfire crisis. The plight of our wildlife has touched people right around the world and provoked an outpouring of financial and moral support,” Mr Albanese said.


“Volunteers at rescue services like WIRES are doing a great job and show Australians at their best.”


Ms Templeman said  many local people had raised the issue of fauna recovery and protection with her office in the aftermath of the bushfires, and again at a climate change Q&A session held with Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Mark Butler, at Wentworth Falls on Tuesday (March 10).


“I have previously supported a call by local experts for an emergency fund to allow researchers to go into the field immediately after a natural disaster to determine the effects on flora and fauna,” Ms Templeman said.


“The only way we can find out what the true effects of these devastating events are is to get experts into the field immediately.”