Member for Gilmore, Fiona Phillips MP has today said she was disgusted to learn that only around thirty per cent of properties destroyed in the summer’s bushfires have been cleaned up, despite assurances that things were largely on track.
With the June 30 deadline looming, new information provided from a Senate Question on Notice has shown that, as at 20 May, out of 772 properties registered for the clean up in the Shoalhaven, only 280 had been cleared.
In the Eurobodalla, the figures were even worse, with only 331 out of 1195 cleaned up so far. That’s less than 30 per cent.
Even with the impact of COVID-19, the clean up should be more advanced than this and local families deserve better than less than a third of properties being cleaned up.
“This is simply not good enough,” Member for Gilmore, Fiona Phillips said.
“Six months on for some of these families and they still have to look at the rubble of their homes – this is totally unacceptable,”
The Federal and NSW Governments jointly funded the clean up for properties destroyed in the bushfires, with the work being completed by the NSW Government’s contractor Laing O’Rourke.
“The Federal Government needs to work more closely with the NSW Government to make sure families don’t have to wait past the June 30 deadline,” Fiona Phillips said.
Mrs Phillips said the Morrison Government has forgotten people in bushfire impacted areas, choosing instead to prioritise home improvements for people in city areas. The people of the South Coast need their homes cleared, they need their community evacuation centres bushfire-proofed, and they need their emergency command centres to be fit for purpose, but the government is dragging its heels.
“The government needs to stop making flashy announcements and false promises, and start delivering for people in bushfire-impacted areas,” Mrs Phillips said.
“Local families deserve better,” she said.