Australia — Prime Minister John Howard and Victorian Premier Steve Brackshave announced extra financial help for victims of Victoria’s devastatingbushfires.
The money will come from an extension of the Community Recovery Fund -established in December last year – as part of the initial response to the firesin Gippsland and Victoria’s north-east.
More than $700,000 will be available to fire-affected regions on-top ofalready available assistance through both the State and Commonwealth Governments.
“I am pleased to support the extension of the Community Recovery Fund tothose affected by the bushfires in south-west Victoria,” Mr Howard said.
“This will be over and above the support the Commonwealth gives throughthe long-standing natural disaster relief arrangements,” Mr Howard said.
“Over the past five years, the Commonwealth has provided Victoria withmore than $30 million in assistance through these arrangements.”
Premier Bracks said the funding would help those in the southwest to meetimmediate recovery costs.
“Through the Bushfire Recovery Ministerial Taskforce we will continue towork with communities to assess the full impact of this summer’s fires and worktowards practical outcomes that will help regional and rural communities getback on their feet,” he said