Bushfire recovery strategies announced

By Jamie Salter

The Federal, Victorian and NSW governments have announced strategies for communities to recover from the bushfire disaster gripping the country.

The Federal Government says it will put $2 billion into a new bushfire recovery fund over the next two years, to help Australians rebuild after the bushfire season.

Federal Emergency Management Minister David Littleproud said all states would share the disaster recovery payments.

“But extra recovery above that is what we are going to put $2 billion towards in terms of the recovery, that's key infrastructure, that's also about mental health,” Mr Littleproud said.

He said the Treasurer had been speaking to the insurance industry to support impacted individuals.

“We expect the insurance industry to live up to their contractual obligations.”

The Victorian Government has announced the Bushfire Recovery Victoria agency, chaired by former Victoria Police chief commissioner Ken Lay, to work closely with communities as they begin to rebuild.

Victorian Emergency Services Minister Lisa Neville said it was vital to have local voices at the core of the new agency.

To control the biosecurity risk, Federal Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie said Army reservists would be sent to dig mass graves for stock killed in the bushfires.

“The size of the task is still being assessed but we expect the volume of stock losses to vary across fire-affected regions and within regions,” Senator McKenzie said.

“The sooner we can dispose of dead livestock the sooner our farmers can begin the hard and long road to recovery.”

A climate rally took place on a day of extreme fire danger ratings in Melbourne on Friday, January 10, despite warnings against it from Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, as he believed it diverted much needed police resources.