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Media releases from the Office of Susan Templeman MP.

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Susan Templeman on the Alan Jones Breakfast Show 10 March 2020

March 10, 2020

ALAN JONES, HOST: I spoke to Susan Templeman a couple of days ago – no, it wasn’t a couple of days ago it was the end of last week – this is across political barriers here. She is the Labor MP – and a very good one – for the seat of Macquarie; this is the Blue Mountains. And Susan Templeman had her own house burnt – she doesn’t need any lessons here – in 2013, but she’s up there in the Blue Mountains and the Hawkesbury and nothing has happened. I’m just going to bring her back so, Andrew, you can hear this story as well. So, Susan, good morning.
Morning Alan, hi Andrew.
JONES: Well since we spoke to you, nothing has happened. You talked about a café in Katoomba that has been waiting six weeks for a response from government about their eligibility for a working capital loan. If they don’t get it, they close their door.
Yeah, they’ve just gone into a vacuum and they really don’t know where to turn. There is just no response. The clean up, as Andrew says, is really slow. There’s another business in Katoomba whose been told they’re not eligible because they’re a fairly new business and they were still running at a loss because they were reinvesting back into the business. Now, that’s a business that was just getting started and could well come to an end.
JONES: Yeah, that’s right. And then, you talked about Mount Tomah – I know where that is, Andrew knows where that is – several homes burnt to the ground. You went there at the weekend – and this is it, this is Andrew’s point – not a single piece of debris has been moved.
TEMPLEMAN: Nothing,  I was just shocked. I went there very early the day after the fire – way back, we’re talking about Monday the 15th of December, the morning after the fire. It still looks – okay the trees have a few more green shoots on them – but the debris is still as awful and depressing as it was then. Horrible for those people who just want to move on and get their plan happening about what they do next..
JONES: Andrew?
ANDREW CONSTANCE, STATE MEMBER FOR BEGA (NSW): This is the thing. Liang O’Rourke, to their credit now, has put in a three week plan; so we’ll wait and see that. So we’ll give them the three weeks – we’ve got to be fair there – because it’s quite literally millions of tonnes of cubic meters of debris, a lot of it asbestos – about 40% of it. But to Susan’s point – and I think it’s really important – one of the best things that Barra, Dom and Gladys did last week was announce stamp duty exemptions for people who lost their homes.
So they can rebuild.
CONSTANCE: Well they won’t rebuild, they’ll actually go and buy another house. Because they’re too tired – they’ve been traumatised – the last thing that people want to do is then go through a rebuild. We saw that with Tathra, where only 15 of the 65 homes were actually rebuilt in the last two years. So that stamp duty exemption really gives people hope; and I know our neighbours aren’t going to rebuild now, they’re going to go and buy, so that’s something. But we’ve just got this massive problem where, I think, everyone’s just ploughed in and put all the bureaucracy, all the red tape around it and just not trusting people.
JONES: (inaudible) See, Susan, in your predicament here, you’ve got places like Katoomba and Leura – I mean they’re beautiful places where people want to go – and you’re saying hang on, they want to see evidence of a campaign that’s brings the tourists back?
TEMPLEMAN: Yeah, that’s right. One of the wonderful cafés in Wentworth Falls – Schwarz which sells great pastries and baked goods – they’ve been in business 38 years and they say they’ve never seen it like this. It’s worse than the GFC – already – and this is pre-coronavirus –––
JONES: Andrew’s nodding his head here.
Do you know why I’m nodding my head? Because I’m now hearing from a federal minister that they’re now going to divert the money that was for bushfire marketing campaigns to coronavirus.
JONES: They’re two separate things.
CONSTANCE: They’re very separate things.
JONES: Absolutely. Well Susan, we’ll leave you but we’re going to keep in touch with you. Any of these anecdotal pieces get to us, and I’m feeding them through to quote unquote people, Susan (laughs).
TEMPLEMAN: (laughs) Well I hope those people listen to you, Alan.
Thank you Susan – well they will, they’ll have to! But thank you, thank you for your time.