The NSW government is committing an additional $1 billion over the next two years o bushfire management and recovery after an unprecedented fire season in which almost 2000 homes have been razed.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the new funding would prioritise infrastructure repair and help stimulate fire-ravaged NSW communities.
“The bushfire season is far from over but we know how important it is for communities to start the recovery process where possible,” Ms Berejiklian said in a statement on Thursday.
She said the funding was on top of $231 million already committed to disaster assistance funding.
“This is to rebuild communities and focus on infrastructure that’s either been damaged, destroyed or need improving, and it’s to ensure that communities can have confidence in rebuilding,” Ms Berejiklian told reporters.
“That could be a bridge, road, rail line, school, hospital or also extend to communications and energy infrastructure as well.
“We are always standing shoulder-to-shoulder with those impacted by this devastating catastrophe that’s come to NSW.”
Ms Berejiklian said she had agreed with the federal government that her government would focus on infrastructure repair while Canberra would prioritise direct payments for individuals and businesses.
The NSW Gov’t will provide $1 billion to rebuild our bushfire impacted communities across the state.This new money is in addition to the extra $231m we have already provided this bushfire season to fight the fires, picking up the clean up costs and support people impacted. pic.twitter.com/C7h2iIQviB
— Gladys Berejiklian (@GladysB) January 8, 2020
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said: “We don’t want simply to rebuild the communities, we want them to thrive, and this $1 billion investment will do just that.”
“We know that this won’t happen overnight’s that this will take time and those who are affected, we say to you that we have your back now and well into the future.”
Some 1870 NSW homes have been destroyed this fire season while 20 people, more than 6200 livestock and millions of animals have died.