Clean up fund to assist NSW residents

Disaster assistance has been made available for the people affected by the bushfire in NSW’s Bega, which includes the Tathra and surrounding communities.

Assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).

Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Security Angus Taylor, who is responsible for Commonwealth disaster assistance, said the bushfire has been heartbreaking for the Bega communities.

“This was an extremely dangerous fire that threatened lives and has caused significant damage to property,” he said.

“Funding is available for a range of recovery measures to help individuals and families, as well as small businesses, primary producers and the local council.”

NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian said, “I am relieved that nobody lost their life, however with such devastating property loss and damage we need to help people rebuild and the community recover.”

“Today I am announcing that up to $10 million will be spent to remove asbestos contaminated material and help residents clean up their properties.”

This announcement will ensure the cost of cleaning up properties in Tathra and its surrounds will not be deducted from funds available under residents’ insurance polices for rebuilding. NSW Public Works will coordinate the clean-up operation, in partnership with insurers and Bega Valley Council, and will engage expert contractors regularly utilised in the aftermath of natural disasters. This will help ensure that the clean-up operation takes place in an efficient and coordinated manner, and that clean-up and disposal standards are upheld.

The clean-up package for homes destroyed by the bushfires in Tathra and its surrounds will include:

• the removal of asbestos contaminated material released as a result of the bushfire;

• removal of all dangerous debris, including destroyed homes and trees; and

• the removal of concrete slabs.

The Government is also providing financial assistance for the clean-up of properties which are uninsured. The appointment of Euan Ferguson as Recovery Coordinator supports the range of assistance measures already available in nominated areas under the Natural Disaster Assistance Schemes, including grants for people on low incomes with no insurance, whose homes and essential household items have been destroyed by the bush fires.

The NSW Government has also agreed to fund the expansion of Bega Council’s tip to ensure hazardous waste from the fire can be disposed of safely.