Coulton calls for additional help for bushfire affected communities
Monday, 20 February 2017
A week after devastating bushfires which burnt through the Boggabri, Leadville and Uarbry areas in the bottom eastern pocket of the Parkes electorate, the Federal Member Mark Coulton has reiterated calls for further assistance for the region.
After visiting and speaking with affected farmers on the ground, Mr Coulton said it would not be hard to understand how some property owners would consider walking away after losing everything.
“I spoke with property owners who have lost their homes, sheds, farming equipment and fences but worst of all, they have lost their stock and their livelihoods” Mr Coulton said.
Catastrophic fires burnt out around 50,000 hectares near Dunedoo on Sunday 12th February after days of scorching temperatures culminated in an out of control fire that swept along the Golden Highway destroying everything in its path.
“Disaster assistance has already been made available for affected communities through the jointly-funded Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA)” Mr Coulton said.
However, Mr Coulton said he was lobbying hard for farmers to receive low interest loans that would assist them to replace fences and restock their properties and work toward earning a living again.
Mr Coulton commended the affected communities for their rapid response to the fires, particularly firefighters and volunteers, service clubs and Councils which have all been working hard to provide as much assistance as possible.
“Essential Energy and Telstra workers also deserve praise for their efforts to work non-stop to repair electricity and communication lines” Mr Coulton said.
Mr Coulton encouraged those who feel they are able, to donate to the Warrumbungle Shire Council Mayor’s Bushfire Appeal. Details on how to donate are available on the Council’s website www.warrumbungle.nsw.gov.au