Call to declare Gascoyne disaster zone rejected

Call to declare Gascoyne disaster zone rejected

25 January 2012

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Australia — The State Government has rejected calls for a bushfire-ravaged part of the Gascoyne to be declared a natural disaster zone.

Multiple fires, burning for almost a month, have damaged infrastructure and destroyed more than 600,000 hectares of land.

The Pastoralists and Graziers’ Association says the incident should be labelled a natural disaster, so producers can get special emergency funding.

PGA vice president Ruth Webb-Smith says government representatives should have visited the area before ruling it out.

“Just go up there and have a look for themselves what losses there are and what losses those people are experiencing,” he said.

“There has to be some common sense come into the equation when it comes to a natural disaster position in those fire areas.”

Acting Premier Kim Hames says the bushfires do not currently meet the State and Federal Government’s definition of a natural disaster.

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