WITH fires affecting communities in the Bathurst electorate, we know the task to repair the damage and rebuild communities is enormous, but it's one that we are committed to delivering.
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The NSW Government will co-ordinate the clean-up of residential and commercial properties destroyed by bushfires this season, at no cost to owners, so they can start rebuilding and communities can begin healing.
Costs for clean-up will be covered by the NSW Government in partnership with the Federal Government, irrespective of whether properties are insured or uninsured.
This means insured property owners will be able to use every dollar of their insurance policies towards rebuilding. For the uninsured, it's one less thing to worry about.
Clean-up work will include things like containing and removing asbestos contaminated bushfire-affected materials; removing all dangerous debris, including destroyed materials and hazardous trees; and removing concrete slab foundations.
I'd like to encourage all property owners wanting their property cleared, or those who have already started or completed clearing work through their insurer or private contractor, to call Service NSW on 13 77 88.
Further information is available at www.service.nsw.gov.au
OUR farmers have been facing drought, dust storms and ferocious fires and the $75,000 Primary Producer Grant is critical to keep farmers on the land and give them hope for the future.
Emergency services and volunteers, including many affected primary producers, are outstanding in emergency situations and we need to make sure we are as vigilant in recovery as we are in the face of disaster.
The last thing people need to worry about at the moment is filling in forms. That is why we have made this a streamlined process with minimal paperwork so people who need money can get money with minimal fuss.
Putting money back in people's pockets as soon as possible will allow affected communities to focus on rebuilding and repairing crucial infrastructure, treating, euthanising or burying livestock, as well as buying much-needed fodder, and for orchardists, replacing netting and trees, knowing that costs will be reimbursed up to $75,000.
This also means that primary producers who may have already accessed up to $15,000 can now apply for additional funds, bringing the total available to $75,000.
To apply for the Special Disaster Grant, visit www.raa.nsw.gov.au or call 1800 678 593 to speak to the RAA.
Service NSW Service Centres are able to help producers with information.
For a full list of Category C declared LGAs, please visit www.raa.nsw.gov.au/disaster-assistance/disaster-recovery-grants/bushfires
AUSTRALIA Day is a day when we all come together as a nation to celebrate our country and what it means to be an Australian.
It's the day for us to recommit to making Australia an even better place for the future.
From our diverse landscape to our multicultural society, Australia Day is a chance to celebrate what makes you an Australian!
It is a chance to take pride in our country, our people and our achievements.
Australia Day is so much more than a barbecue. It is not just another public holiday.
It is a day that is driven by our citizens, by our communities, large and small - coming together in celebration of what is so great and wonderful about Australia and being an Australian.
This is the day which highlights to each of us the foundations of who we are and how we plan our future.
There are many events planned throughout all communities in the electorate and I urge everyone to attend and celebrate what is ultimately their day.
This is a time for each of us to reflect on what we have achieved and what we can be proud of in our great nation.
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