Bill's Media Releases

TIGHTER ELIGIBILITY FOR PERTH BUSHFIRE ASSISTANCE SHOULD BE REVERSED

Perth hills residents devastated by bushfires must have access to the same disaster assistance that was provided to victims of previous bushfires, including the 2011 Perth fires.

Yesterday, Attorney-General George Brandis announced $1,000 disaster payments for residents in impacted by fires in Mundaring LGA.

The Opposition welcomes the announcement of assistance but is extremely concerned that the Abbott Government has tightened the eligibility criteria for these payments.

These new rules mean hundreds of families – including many who had to be evacuated – will miss out on assistance.

For previous disasters, such as the 2011 Perth Fires, people in these categories were eligible for the $1,000 disaster payment:

  • A person has been unable to return to their principal place of residence for a period of 24 hours or more as a direct result of the major disaster, or

  • There has been no access to the principal place of residence for a period of at least 24 hours, or

  • An individual or family has been stranded in their residence for a period of at least 24 hours, or

  • A place of residence was without a particular utility service (electricity, water, gas, sewage services or another essential service) for a continuous period of 48 hours.


However, the Abbott Government has ruled that families who fall into these categories will not qualify for assistance for these bushfires.

The Abbott Government must restore the same disaster payment criteria used for previous natural disasters.

These fires have caused significant hardship for many families in the Perth hills and its critical they have access to appropriate support.

Acting Prime Minister Warren Truss must intervene to ensure this decision is urgently reversed and assistance is provided where it’s needed.

TUESDAY, 14 JANUARY 2014

MEDIA CONTACTS: LEADERS OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 02 6277 4053 (SHORTEN)
ANNIE WILLIAMS 0428 040 522 (DREYFUS)
MICHAEL HYDE 0417 175 220 (PRATT)