Written by Mark Coulton MP -
Last week I toured the aftermath of the bushfires
that ripped through the Coonabarabran area with Prime Minister Julia Gillard. It is hard to put into words what I saw, however the destruction was widespread and completely indiscriminate. The images on the television, while shocking, fail to give you a full sense of the devastation.
The Wambelong fire is being labelled the worst bushfire disaster in NSW for over a decade. These bushfires
have had a devastating impact on the surrounding communities, destroying more than 46,000 hectares. There has also been large scale destruction of livestock. The total numbers of stock lost will not be known until
farmers are able to return to their properties to assess the full scale of the damage.
The remarkable efforts of our Rural Fire Service are to be congratulated. When driving along Timor Road
there are many houses that had been left untouched, which is amazing considering everything else around them has been vaporised
by these intense fires. Without the selflessness of the RFS members and volunteers, the situation and outcome
of these fires could be very different.
The Warrumbungle Shire Council has established the Warrumbungle Shire Mayor’s Bushfire Appeal to ensure that donations from the community reach their intended target. The Warrumbungle Shire Mayor’s Bushfire appeal aims to provide a “one stop shop” where members of the public can donate money to assist the victims of these fires. Please consider donating. Even a little will help this worthy cause.
Account Name: Warrumbungle Shire Council Mayor’s Bushfire Appeal
Bank: Commonwealth Bank
Assistance from the Government has been upgraded. The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payments (AGDRP) has been activated
for people directly impacted by the fires. These payments consist of $1,000 for each adult and $400 for each child. To be eligible for this payment you must meet at least one of the below criteria:
- you have been seriously injured
- you are the immediate family member of an Australian killed as a direct result of the bushfires
- your principal place of residence has been destroyed or has sustained major damage
- you have been unable to gain access to your principal place of residence for a period of at least 24 hours
- your principal place of residence was without electricity, water, gas, sewage services or another essential service for a continuous period of 48 hours
- you are the principal carer of a dependent child who has experienced any of the above.
If you require any assistance please do not hesitate to contact my office as I am always available to help 02 6882 0999.