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]

DOORSTOP INTERVIEW: Bushfire Senate inquiry interim report

October 08, 2020

I’m Susan Templeman the Member for Macquarie covering the Blue Mountains and the Hawkesbury. I want to talk about bushfires because last night the Senate report, the interim report, into the bushfire inquiry was brought down and it had some very sensible recommendations that could be implemented immediately. Things like spending some of the $200 million that hasn’t been spent in the past year from the emergency fund that would allow mitigation actions to happen, that should be spent immediately. Giving the ABC additional funding to be able to do emergency broadcasts, great initiative. They’re the sorts of things we need to see, and the third one would be really looking at the aerial firefighting unit that we have in Australia to be able to tackle bushfires.


Obviously we are in bushfire season now and a year ago it was horrific, but there’s one of the recommendations that is really quite concerning. The Coalition Senators have put in a dissenting report around a recommendation for disaster recovery payments. Now, these are $1000 payments that you get when your house burns down. I know how important these are, because my house burned down seven years ago.


What the Coalition Senators are saying is that there should be no review of this payment, no review at all, because it might provide a disincentive to people to insure or take personal responsibility. How dare they suggest that for the sake of $1000 someone might willingly step aside and let their house burn down. When your house goes, you have nothing but the clothes you’re standing in. You need to go out and buy socks and jocks, bras and undies. You might need a mobile phone because everything you do from that moment on to try and rebuild your life will involve talking to someone, applying for something, and having conversations that have to happen by phone. You might need a laptop. You need absolutely everything from a toothbrush to a pair of pyjamas. And to say that it is a disincentive to insure just shows how out of touch these Liberal Senators are. They don’t have a clue about what it’s like to suffer real hardship, and quite frankly it sounds like they don’t care.