No sign of wilderness fire funding as recovery money committed to Tasmanian communities

13 April 2019

Published by

AUSTRALIA – Extra funding has been announced to help Tasmania recover from the summer’s devastating bushfires, but it remains unclear whether there will be any additional money for firefighting in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA).

The state and federal governments will contribute a further $9.9 million for community bushfire recovery, confirmed before the Federal Government went into caretaker mode.

The funding was announced yesterday at a barbecue in Miena to celebrate the community’s survival during the summer bushfires.

The funding will not cover environmental recovery and future firefighting efforts in the TWWHA.

Under the Commonwealth’s National Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA), the Federal Government covers up to 75 per cent of the damage bill, but it only applies to people, public assets, some business grants and the clean-up.

In January, Premier Will Hodgman asked Prime Minister Scott Morrison for special funding outside of the disaster relief scheme for the TWWHA.

Discussions have been ongoing, but with the federal election campaign underway, Mr Hodgman said he would continue to lobby the next government for the funds.

“Once the extent of the fires here in Tasmania is fully known, not only the financial but also environmental impact, we’ll be in a strong position to make a continued case for Commonwealth assistance into the future,” he said.

Greens senator for Tasmania Nick McKim said more needed to be done.

“The Commonwealth needs to stump up and provide Tasmania with the money to not only help fight the fires that we’ve just seen, but fight future fires that we know will come more often and be more dangerous,” he said.

The State Government’s bushfire taskforce and recovery committee will determine how the money will be spent, but funds will flow to promote tourism, assist small businesses and repair community facilities.

The total cost of the summer’s bushfires will not be known until damage assessments are finished.

Community comes together after blaze

The Central Highlands community of Miena came together on Saturday to acknowledge the work of emergency services and volunteers over the course of the bushfire event.

The summer’s bushfires consumed about 200,000 hectares of land and destroyed seven homes in the Central Highlands and the Huon Valley.

Central Highlands Mayor Loueen Triffitt said the area had begun to bounce back.

“It is a strong proof of the community, how united they can be, and they have worked together side by side in such a stressful time,” she said.

“I think it shows and proves what a strong Central Highlands community we do have.”

Similar events were held in the Huon Valley and on the west coast, with a final recovery celebration planned for the Derwent Valley later this month.

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