The NSW government has announced a further $1 billion over the next two years to rebuild bushfire impacted communities across NSW. The extra funding will prioritise the repair and rebuilding of vital infrastructure, such as roads, rail-lines, bridges, schools, health and communications facilities, which have been damaged or destroyed by bushfires.
The Premier said the money will provide an immediate source of funding to ensure key infrastructure is restored so communities can get back on their feet as soon as possible. The bushfire season is far from over but it is important for communities to start the recovery process where possible. This announcement is on top of the NSW government's disaster assistance funding for this bushfire season of up to $231 million.
It includes: $166 million to fight fires on top of the record 2019/20 RFS Budget; $25 million to facilitate the clean-up of both insured and uninsured homes damaged or destroyed by the fires; $23 million for grants of up to $15,000 for primary producers and small businesses to assist with clean-up and the replacement of infrastructure; $6 million for additional mental health services for individuals, community groups and emergency services personnel; $11 million to fund the Economic Recovery and Community Resilience Grants Program.
I extend my thanks to our local RFS volunteers and Fire and Rescue personnel who have travelled to support the efforts particularly on the South Coast, where communities remain threatened by bushfires. Thank you also to those who continue to ensure our safety here at home.
Meanwhile, I watch anxiously as fires burn uncontrolled at my birthplace on Kangaroo Island. Family and friends are feeling the impact as the crisis unfolds. About one third of the Island (155,000 hectares) has been burnt at the western end where the Flinders Chase National Park has been decimated. There has been enormous stock loss, and homes destroyed, and the tragic loss of two lives.
Bushfire recovery information is available on my website lesliewilliams.com.au, but if you need additional assistance please contact my Electorate Office on 6584 0977.