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]

NATIONAL BUSHFIRE RECOVERY FUND JUST DOESN’T EXIST

March 03, 2020

NATIONAL BUSHFIRE RECOVERY FUND JUST DOESN’T EXIST

 

Federal Member for Macquarie, Susan Templeman, has called on the Morrison Government to explain why it misled bushfire affected communities - including the Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury - over the National Bushfire Recovery Fund, which has now been proven by Senate Estimates not to exist.

 

The Prime Minister stated on January 6 that the Federal Government would “establish a new agency with an initial $2 billion for a national bushfire recovery fund.”
 
However, yesterday’s (March 2) Finance and Public Administration Committee Estimates hearing was told the $2 billion fund has never actually been created. It was described by Bushfire Recovery Agency Deputy Secretary Abigail Bradshaw as a “notional” fund.

 

Ms Templeman said the revelations would disgust bushfire-affected communities like Bilpin, Mt Tomah, Blackheath and Mt Victoria, as assistance for small businesses and home owners has still not been delivered months after the fires.

 

“Last night we learned in the Senate that the National Bushfire Recovery Fund hasn’t actually been created, it doesn’t exist,” Ms Templeman said.

 

“Is it any wonder that a total of just five small businesses and farmers have received support from a fund that isn’t actually real?

 

“This has just been a whole smoke screen for the Prime Minister to try and tick the boxes and look good after completely botching his response to a massive and unprecedented disaster that we faced.

 

“Senate Estimates is a really important place for us to find out what’s actually happened, as opposed to what we’ve been told is happening.

 

“People in the Mountains and the Hawkesbury care about taxpayer funds being appropriately allocated, fairly and transparently, whether that’s sporting funds or the failure to deliver on bushfire recovery.

 

“Right now as we head towards a coronavirus issue really emerging and taking hold economically as well as from a health perspective, local businesses and individuals are still struggling to deal with these catastrophic fires.

 

“Remember, this is a Prime Minister who said, “Whatever it takes” to help communities recover. We need the government to establish the National Bushfire Recovery Fund immediately, as it said it would, and we need those funds to flow to those who so desperately need them.”

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