Away - South Coast
Away - South Coast

Bushfire clean up hits $800m

The rebuild bill for the state's bushfire crisis has hit $800 million as families continue to languish in tents weeks on from the disaster.

The giant cost has been revealed for the first time and includes damage to assets under the control of local, state and the federal government.

The NSW government has set aside $1 billion to rebuild state infrastructure and has already spent $100 million fixing up schools and roads.

Kim and Mason Small in Nerrigundah yesterday. Picture: Jonathan Ng
Kim and Mason Small in Nerrigundah yesterday. Picture: Jonathan Ng

State Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said his priority was to repair infrastructure swiftly but warned that the rebuild would take time.

"It's early in the process, but as the bills come in we will pay them," Mr Perrottet said.

"Government departments can access funds as they need it and in many cases this may well be after the work is complete or well underway.

"I was in Batemans Bay this week and saw the clean-up work get underway - we drove across the Kings Hwy, which has been open for a month after being damaged during the fires, things are happening."

 

The NSW government has set aside $1b to rebuild state infrastructure following the fires.
The NSW government has set aside $1b to rebuild state infrastructure following the fires.

 

Off the beaten track, 26 homes were destroyed in Nerrigundah, near Moruya, when fires descended on the town at the bottom of a valley on New Year's Eve.

About 100 residents packed out a local fire shed for a meeting with authorities this week, with many wanting answers about the clean-up.

Farmer Kim Small, 49, who is temporarily living in a caravan, said residents still lacked access to water and phone reception.

 

 

"Even if you're staying on site in a caravan or tent and you've got a generator, where do you shower, where do you wash your feet, where do you go to the toilet? There's no toilets at these places," Ms Small asked.

"Everything's melted, every line is destroyed, every water fire pump is destroyed, so whilst you can live here you're probably only living in what your caravan and tent can hold.

The rebuild bill for the state’s bushfire crisis has hit $800 million.
The rebuild bill for the state’s bushfire crisis has hit $800 million.

"I know many families out in Belowra and Tinpot, people with children packing school lunches every day trying to do what a normal person would do in their kitchen in a tent in the rain."


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