Australia — The New South Wales Government says Blue Mountains residents whose homes were damaged or destroyed in the recent bushfires will not have to pay for removing the burnt-out rubble of their houses.
The Government has already spent more than $1 million assessing and stabilising asbestos exposed by the fires.
What is left of the more than 200 homes destroyed last month now needs to be cleared before residents can rebuild.
Premier Barry O’Farrell says funds from the joint state-federal disaster arrangement will be used to clean up and remove all debris.
“This is about relieving people from the worry about how they clean up the debris from their home sites, whether their houses have been completely destroyed or whether they’ve been damaged by those fires that raged through Springwood and Winmalee,” Mr O’Farrell said.
“This is further practical assistance from the State Government to help people from the Blue Mountains get on with their lives, clean up their properties and get on with the rebuilding process.”
The Premier estimates the rubble removal will cost about $10 million, ensuring residents can put their entire insurance payout towards rebuilding.
Mr O’Farrell says he has also spoken to Prime Minister Tony Abbott about compensation for the State Mine fire, which was started by the Department of Defence, and they are both confident any damage from that blaze can be covered.