Media Releases

Media releases from the Office of Susan Templeman MP.

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TEMPLEMAN CONGRATULATES FIRE RESPONDERS, URGES NSW GOVERNMENT TO INCREASE COMMUNITY SUPPORT

November 20, 2019

TEMPLEMAN CONGRATULATES FIRE RESPONDERS, URGES NSW GOVERNMENT TO INCREASE COMMUNITY SUPPORT

Federal Member for Macquarie, Susan Templeman, has congratulated fire fighters and residents at Colo Heights on their quick response to the emergency level fire that flared on Tuesday night,

 

“Thanks to the response, the RFS tells me that the breakout was relatively quickly tackled without the loss of any homes,” Ms Templeman said.

 

The Gospers Mountain fire has been downgraded to Advice level overnight after being listed at Emergency level on Tuesday evening.

 

Ms Templeman said there was a tremendous amount of work happening throughout the Hawkesbury, day and night, to protect people and properties from the blaze, which has now grown to 160,000 hectares.

 

“Our whole community should be immensely proud of the terrific work being done through Hawkesbury Fire Control Centre in Wilberforce and on the front line, in the most professional way.

 

“As the crews head out and come in, I’ve met RFS volunteers from all over greater Sydney, crews from interstate including Victoria and Tasmania, members of NSW Fire and Rescue, NSW National Parks, and the SES.”

 

Ms Templeman said she particularly wanted to thank small businesses for their willingness to allow employees time off to fight the fire.

 

“People are taking time out of paid employment to fight these fires - people who are self-employed and employers are all making sacrifices so that our RFS has the capacity to manage this fire, and we owe them a great deal of thanks for that.

 

“And volunteer groups are helping as well as many individuals stepping up to assist the firefighting effort.

 

“While it isn’t making headlines, there is an incredible volunteer and community effort underway. There are also many people donating food and looking for ways to assist crews and other people affected by the fires, particularly those self-evacuating an area.

 

“We don’t know how long that effort is going to have to continue. I would urge the NSW Government to consider upgrading its support for the people impacted by fire so that we ensure there is a coordinated approach, and that no gaps appear.

 

“For the owners of the two properties destroyed there needs to be more than crowd-funding – there needs to be proper government engagement to ensure their needs are met.

 

“And for those who have suffered serious property damage, there also needs to be an easy way to seek advice and support from the myriad of State Government agencies.

 

“We are also at a stage where people who have self-evacuated to family or friends’ homes may well be in need of additional support or advice.

 

“I’d like to thank all the people who have made contact to highlight where there are shortfalls and gaps during this time of emergency, because it has meant I have been able to address those issues with the relevant organisation.

 

“With the RFS continuing their advice to people in the areas of Colo Heights, Higher MacDonald and Webbs Creek to activate their Bush Fire Survival Plans, we are still facing a serious threat, and I will continue to work with local agencies and my State and Council colleagues to make sure the needs of our community are met.”

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