150 homes gutted in Blue Mountains bush fires cleared


Blue Mountains residents whose homes were burnt down in bushfires have been struggling to get their homes cleared to see that their Christmas time feels better and that they can look forward to rebuilding lives and their homes next year.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services Michael Gallacher has welcomed the efforts of clean-up crews in the Blue Mountains Bush Fire Recovery with 150 homes now cleared.

“We had expected to reach the 100 mark by Christmas so it is extremely pleasing to see 150 homes have been cleared by Christmas Eve,” Minister Gallacher said.

“The crews from NRMA Insurance, Suncorp and Allianz, together with NSW Public Works have worked around the clock, seven days a week removing debris from homes destroyed by the October bush fires.

“This will be a tough Christmas for many families in the Blue Mountains and it is heartening to see the community rallying together,” Minister Gallacher said.

“We have said from the beginning that we would work with the Blue Mountains community to help them recover from this disaster,” Minister Gallacher said.

Minister for Finance and Services Andrew Constance said clean-up works would continue at a reduced rate over the holiday period.

“Due to restricted opening hours at landfill facilities there will be reduced work over the Christmas to New Year period but the clean-up will ramp up again from 2 January, 2014.

“I pay tribute to NSW Public Works who’ve done an outstanding job coordinating the clean-up effort,” Mr Constance said.

The Bushfire Information and Support Centre will be closed on 25, 26 and 27 December, weekends and New Year’s Day, but anyone needing recovery assistance on those dates can contact 02 4751 6423.

Member for the Blue Mountains Roza Sage said a number of agencies and services will remain in the Blue Mountains over the holiday period.

“Agencies including NSW Public Works, Legal Aid, Step by Step, NSW Environment Protection Authority, Wentworth Community Housing and NSW Fair Trading will be available on an on-call basis over the Christmas and New Year period,” Ms Sage said.

“These services have been vital to residents during this time and anyone in need will still be able to access them.

“It is important for residents to see the clean-up efforts as it helps them move on from this awful tragedy.

“The people of the Blue Mountains are a resilient bunch and will continue to support each other during this tough time,” Ms Sage said.


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