Our country is facing devastating and widespread bushfires.
This requires us to do everything possible to fight fires, protect lives, and ensure communities are getting the support they need.
1. DEPLOYING THE AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE
The Australian Defence Force is providing boots on the ground, planes in the sky and ships at sea, to support the bushfire fighting effort and recovery.
For the first time in our history, the Government has enacted a compulsory call-out of the Australian Defence Force Reserve Brigades.
This will provide up to 3,000 Australian Defence Force Reservists, including personnel with skills in engineering, medical, logistics and transport support.
The Navy’s largest ship, HMAS Adelaide, will join HMAS Choules and MV Sycamore in supporting the evacuation of citizens.
The Adelaide is fully equipped for disaster relief and humanitarian aid. It can operate all ADF helicopters. It has 400 crew, including medical staff, and 300 tonnes of emergency relief supplies.
The Government is deploying additional ADF air lift and reconnaissance capacity. This includes Chinook helicopters, C-17 Globemasters, C-130 Hercules and C-27 Spartans.
All Defence bases between Brisbane and Adelaide will provide temporary transit accommodation and support for those displaced by the fires. Call 1800 DEFENCE (1800 333 362) for more information.
Major General Justin Ellwood, will have national authority over the ADF Joint Task Forces. The ADF will work in cooperation with and support state emergency authorities.
2. ADDITIONAL WATERBOMBING
The Government immediately responded to a request for an additional waterbombing aircraft, by providing $20 million to lease four extra planes.
- two long-range fixed wing DC-10s (with 36,000 litres capacity); and
- two medium-range fixed-wing Large Air Tankers (with 11,000 litre capacity).
This is in addition to $26 million already provided to the states and territories through the National Aerial Firefighting Centre, which provides specialised firefighting aircraft.
3. IMMEDIATE FINANCIAL HELP
The Government is providing immediate financial support to fire-affected communities.
This includes a non-means tested Disaster Recovery Payment of $1,000 for eligible adults and $400 for children.
A Disaster Recovery Allowance is available to provide short-term income support for those who have lost income.
In the 33 Local Government Areas hardest hit by the fires, the Commonwealth and State governments are providing $15,000 recovery grants for small businesses, community organisations and primary producers and funds for local government to help communities recover.
4. SUPPORT FOR VOLUNTEER FIRE FIGHTERS
The Government is funding financial support of up to $6,000 for emergency services volunteers who have lost income as a result of volunteering to fight the fires.
Public servants who are emergency services volunteers are being provided with additional paid leave. We thank the Australian companies which have matched this.
Australian Government financial assistance
Anyone who has been adversely affected by the bushfires should contact the Department of Human Services on 180 22 66 to seek advice on eligibility for the payment.
Source: Thanks liberal.org.au