Australia — The NSW government will fund the clean up and removal of debris and asbestos from bushfire-affected properties in the Blue Mountains.
Premier Barry O’Farrell, Treasurer Mike Baird and Blue Mountains MP Roza Sage have announced the commitment, which will be provided under the jointly funded federal-NSW Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements.
While the government has not nominated an amount, it is understood the commitment may be worth up to $10million.
More than 200 homes were destroyed and 120 properties damaged in the bushfires that tore through the region last month.
The funding comes on top of the $1.4million previously provided by the state government to ”make safe” bushfire-affected sites.
Mr O’Farrell said the government would ”work with insurers and fund the clean up and removal of all bushfire debris, including the disposal of asbestos-contaminated material”.
“The NSW government is determined to help the Blue Mountains community, which is undertaking the daunting and heartbreaking task of rebuilding,” he said.
Ms Sage said residents would not be charged for water used to defend their homes during the crisis and fees had been waived to replace lost official documents such as drivers’ licences and birth certificates. The waste levy for dumping bushfire waste in tips had also been waived.
She said a campaign to encourage tourism in the Blue Mountains had been announced.