Delayed fire recovery aid angers Blue Mountain residents

Delayed fire recovery aid angers Blue Mountain residents

30 November 2013

published by

Australia — Winmalee residents in the Blue Mountains were led to believe the major state-funded demolition of homes destroyed in last month’s Blue Mountains bushfires would begin today.

But there was no sign of demolition crews today and no explanation from the NSW government, leaving locals angry and frustrated.

“I drove down expecting to see trucks and front end loaders and an army of people,” fire recovery co-ordinator Phil Koperberg said.

Former Rural Fire Service Commissioner Phil Koperberg was once captain of the local bushfire brigade and he says last month’s bushfires has exacted a heavy toll on local residents.

“You can’t tell by the tone of my voice and the look on my face [how I feel?]. This is very hard for the residents. These people have lost everything they’ve had.”

The only substantive clearing work was done by fire victims themselves.

“Look we’re not upset – but yeah it could be quicker – but still there is a lot of work to do,” Winmalee resident Dennis Attard said.

It could be Tuesday until the state-funded assistance begins because Monday is the union picnic day for building contractors.

Thanks to the quick action of emergency services there was no loss of life but more than 210 properties in the Blue Mountains are gone.

Frustrated locals are now left wondering when they can start to rebuild their homes and their lives.

Builder Alan Seaman lost his house, his workship and the tools he used as an apprentice more than half a century ago.

Now he’s battling the bureaucracy.

“The paid employees of the government have been a disaster. They don’t wish to talk to anybody [and] they don’t want to keep you informed,” Winmalee resident Alan Seaman said.

A spokesman for the Emergency Services Minister says the state government is doing all it can, but some residents have given up waiting.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
WP-Backgrounds Lite by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann 1010 Wien