Destruction at Nana Glen from the Liberation Trail bushfire.
Destruction at Nana Glen from the Liberation Trail bushfire.

‘Massive blockage’ in fire clean up

STATISTICS revealed today show that less than a third of the Coffs Harbour properties damaged by the recent bushfires have been cleared up.

Just eight of the 27 Coffs Harbour properties registered for debris clearing have been done.

The figures were released in response to a question on notice from Shadow Minister Disaster and Emergency Management, Labor Senator Murray Watt.

The question was posed on May 13 with the figures only released by the Morrison Government today (they are current up to May 20).

Results for other Local Government Areas on the Mid North Coast:

- Kempsey 52 of the 76 registered properties have been complete

- Mid-Coast 40 of the 200 complete

- Nambucca 33 of 104

- Port Macquarie-Hastings just one of 41 damaged properties has been attended to.

Senator Watt says the figures show that bushfire victims are being left out in cold as the Morrison Government's debris clean-up efforts dawdle across some of the worst hit parts of NSW.

"For weeks the Government has been telling us the bushfire clean-up has been going well, but their own figures tell a different story," Senator Watt said.

"It's not good enough that residents have to wait so long for these very basic needs to be met.

"It's a massive blockage in the recovery process both mentally and physically for families to still wake up every day looking at the rubble of their burnt-down homes.

"Scott Morrison promised immediate assistance, but these figures are proof he forgot victims the minute he left the fire ground."

IN THE devastating aftermath of the Bees Nest Fire Justin Gilbert and his family have lost just short of everything.
IN THE devastating aftermath of the Bees Nest Fire Justin Gilbert and his family have lost just short of everything.

Results for other regions across the State:

In the Snowy Monaro as of May 20, 119 properties still had blackened remains of homes, sheds and carports scarring their landscape.

Bega Valley residents have also been left waiting, with just 22 per cent of work, completed.

Only one in every 13 charred property in the Queanbeyan-Palerang region has been done, along with just one in six in the Snowy Valleys.

"It's now winter and people are still living in caravans and temporary accommodation," Senator Watt said.

"More than eight weeks ago I called on the Government to boost employment and speed up debris work by fast-tracking bushfire clean up. But that plea has fallen on deaf ears.

"The Government must work faster to restore dignity to bushfire victims and help them move forward."



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