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]

FIGURES SHOW GOVERNMENT IS LEAVING BLUE MOUNTAINS RESIDENTS BEHIND

June 17, 2020

 

Figures on how many bushfire-ravaged Blue Mountains properties have had debris cleared from the summer bushfire crisis show how far our community is being left behind, according to Federal Member for Macquarie Susan Templeman.

 

The latest figures provided by the government in response to a question in the Senate showed that of the 107 properties registered for debris clean-up programs in the Blue Mountains Local Government Area (LGA), just 41 had been completed by May 20.

 

“This represents just 38 per cent of registered properties in the Mountains,” Ms Templeman said. “So four months out from the next fire season, based on these figures we are still waiting for the majority of properties damaged by the last bushfires to be cleared.”

 

Twenty-two houses were destroyed and 10 severely damaged by the summer bushfires in the Blue Mountains.

 

Another 36 outbuildings were destroyed, with 30 severely damaged.

 

“On the ground we know that the clean up has been slow. And it’s really hard to plan your future when there’s still ruins around you,” Ms Templeman said.

 

“It’s not clear how many bushfire-affected residents will miss out on the extra $25,000 for their rebuild from the HomeBuilder program because they won’t be able to sign a contract or meet some of the other criteria in time.

 

“Bushfire victims are being left behind by the Morrison Government’s dawdling on the recovery process.

 

“The National Bushfire Recovery Agency website states an estimated $65.4 million in damage was caused to the Blue Mountains local economy due to these bushfires – and that is pre-COVID.

 

“How is the community expected to recover from the social and economic impacts of the bushfires and coronavirus when people can’t even get the debris of their fire-damaged properties removed in a timely, transparent manner?”

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