Local MPs call for funding for bushfire recovery

29 January 2015


Nationals Members for Euroa and Ovens Valley, Steph Ryan and Tim McCurdy have called on the Andrews Labor Government to immediately activate low interest loans for people affected in the fires.

Ms Ryan said she has sent an invitation to the Victorian Minister for Emergency Services Jane Garrett to visit bushfire affected areas, in particular Stewarton and Lake Rowan where people sustained significant losses.

“Ms Garrett has accepted my invitation to talk to residents. Many feel that their voices have not been heard by the government. It is vital that their voices are heard by the government as they commence the long and arduous task of re-building,” Ms Ryan said.

“I urge Daniel Andrews to immediately activate low interest loans for businesses and primary producers to help with the massive clean-up and recovery that is now required.

“Labour promised assistance but has only provided emergency relief payments and additional financial assistance to support local governments affected by these bushfires.”

Ms Ryan said these measures were welcome but did not go far enough in helping severely impacted farms with individual losses running into many thousands of dollars.

Tim McCurdy said some farms lost unharvested grain along with thousands of dollars’ worth of livestock, feed and fences.

“This is a particularly cruel blow especially for those who lost much of last year’s grain harvest after severe frosts,” Mr McCurdy said.

“The Federal Coalition Government changed the rules around disaster assistance to make available low interest loans not just to those directly impacted but also for people affected by loss of income.

“I urge the Labor Government to stop equivocating and immediately make this support available,” Mr McCurdy said.

Information regarding available disaster assistance can be found at www.disasterassist.gov.au and www.recovery.vic.gov.au.

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