Australia — Federal money has been made available for victims of last week’s Pinery bushfire in South Australia’s Mid-North.
Federal Industry Minister Christopher Pyne said people eligible for Disaster Recovery Payments could access income assistance, equivalent to Newstart and Youth allowances, for up to 13 weeks.
A one-off $1,000 payment would be made available for adults who had lost their homes or suffered injury as a result of the bushfire, while $400 would be made available for each child.
“The extra assistance announced today will help residents affected by these bushfire gets back on their feet,” Mr Pyne said.
It follows emergency funding announced last week by the South Australian Government, including $280 per adult and $140 per child, to a maximum of $700 per family.
Fire crews remain in the area mopping up after the fire burnt through more than 85,000 hectares of land, destroyed 87 homes, and razed more than 300 farm sheds and outbuildings.
Two people died, five were critically injured, and tens of thousands of livestock perished.
Dead chickens, pigs and sheep are being disposed of and teams are making sure roadside trees are safe.
Demolition crews have also started removing damaged structures.
Volunteer organisation BlazeAid is setting up two base camps to assist with bushfire recovery.
Coordinator Barry Thompson said work could get underway once camp locations were finalised early next week.
He said he had been receiving calls from people around Australia wanting to help.
“I would suggest by Wednesday or Thursday, we’ll have volunteers out on the ground starting to do some work,” Mr Thompson said.
He said volunteers would start by helping with the clean-up and re-building fences.
“We can assist by putting up boundary fences and everything like that so it then designates the person’s property and contains stock if that’s required,” Mr Thompson said.
“We can get in there and help with clean-up around houses and just assist people and give them a little bit of hope.”
Several collection centres have already been set up where residents can get food, clothing and other items.
Homewares needed at collection centres
Annette Broughton has been helping out at the Hamley Bridge collection centre and said the community response had been incredible.
Tables are filled with house hold item donated by the community.
“More people are dropping things in,” she said.
“We have got so much stuff here and I just encourage anyone who has been affected by the fire to come here and take anything they need.”
Ms Broughton said more donations were needed.
“If people can imagine walking into an empty house and having to live there, what would they need?”
“People are coming and feeling afraid to take too much but this is what it’s here for and if anybody does want to donate anything, the things that are really needed now are things like cutlery and crockery.”