DOORSTOP INTERVIEW - PARLIAMENT HOUSE - Black Summer Bushfires and disaster funding

DOORSTOP INTERVIEW - PARLIAMENT HOUSE - Black Summer Bushfires and disaster funding Main Image

16 February 2022


SUBJECT: Black Summer Bushfires and disaster mitigation funding.

KRISTY MCBAIN, MEMBER FOR EDEN-MONARO: I stand here once again as a reminder of bushfire victims and the impact that it has on our local communities. Yesterday in Question Time, the Prime Minister effectively said, no, they haven't spent any of their Emergency Relief Fund. $4 billion that was committed by this Prime Minister three years ago. $4 billion that hasn't been spent on any communities in Eden-Monaro. $4 billion that has earned $836 million in interest and hasn't spent a cent protecting people or communities from the next natural disaster. When I speak to people, their biggest concern is that there are no better protections than there were during the Black Summer Bushfires. It is entirely frustrating. It's re-traumatising to people. It is a slap in the face to what local communities went through during the Black Summer Bushfire to not listen to them, to not help them, to not prepare them for what comes next. 

I've gone through anger, I’ve gone through whingeing and I've gone through pleading for money to be spent in mitigation, in resilience works. If this becomes an election stunt by the Morrison Government to roll the money that's been sitting there for three years, our community communities will not thank you. Our communities are going to be even more jaded about the lack of action that the Morrison Government has put into bushfire recovery. I mean, the Prime Minister hasn't even been back to any bushfire affected areas in my electorate since the 2020 by-election, and we all know how that went.

I am frustrated and I'm asking on behalf of Eden-Monaro communities, communities that lost over a million hectares of land, communities who are still waiting to rebuild over 1000 homes, over 2000 sheds and outbuildings, communities who have lost hundreds of thousands of kilometres of fence line, do something with your power. You have $4.8 billion sitting in an Emergency Relief Fund that can go towards resilience and mitigation in our communities. On behalf of the people that have been directly impacted, on behalf of communities that were evacuated, six, seven, eight, nine, and ten times - do something.