State Government vows to pay for bushfire clean-up in NSW Northern Tablelands - three months on

Thomas Eveans stands in the ruins of his Torrington home, wrecked on November 8 last year.
Thomas Eveans stands in the ruins of his Torrington home, wrecked on November 8 last year.

Government will pay to clean up houses and businesses destroyed in this season's deadly bushfires, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall announced today.

Much of the debris from last year's bushfires remains where it fell, with much of the communities of Torrington and Wytaliba still lying in ruins nearly three months on from their ferocious blazes.

Adam Marshall today announced the state and commonwealth will cover the cost of clearing ruins for both insured and uninsured residents, with the state of NSW to coordinate clean up efforts.

"It sounds like they're actually moving ahead with helping us out," said Torrington resident Richard Cork.

"In the background I can hear a massive bulldozer up the road either cleaning up fire trails or heading to the dump to remove the ruins of houses.

"It takes a bit of a weight off your shoulders. It does fill you with a bit of relief that there's a grand plan for the clean up."

Mr Cork, who lost one of his three Torrington dwellings in November, spent two hours today removing collapsed roof iron off his house in order to recycle it for use as fencing.

Smashed to bits - not much remains of this Torrington home. It was destroyed on November 8 last year and nearly three months on it's still in ruins.

Smashed to bits - not much remains of this Torrington home. It was destroyed on November 8 last year and nearly three months on it's still in ruins.

Government will shortly appoint major contractors in the South and the North of the State to do the work and will encourage them to engage local contractors wherever possible, said Adam Marshall. They will remove asbestos, clear dangerous debris like hazardous trees and destroyed materials and remove concrete slab foundations.

Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall said the new announcement will mean insured property owners will be able to spend every dollar of their payouts on rebuilding.

"For those who are uninsured, it's one less thing to worry about," he said.

Mr Marshall said work is already underway to clean-up affected properties - though not in Torrington or, as recently as last fortnight, Wytaliba.

Mr Marshall also announced today that all bushfire assistance available through all three levels of government and charities will be made available through state government's Service NSW shopfronts.

"People's lives are already stressful enough, which is why the government has created this new service that cuts through red tape and helps people access support as quickly as possible," he said.

"Once a specialist has identified eligible assistance across all layers of government, they will then do the heavy lifting to make it happen."

Specialist Customer Care staff will also help bushfire victims connect with charities, provide accommodation advice, connect with mental health services, replace lost ID documents and coordinate cleanup services among other things. Service NSW can be contacted on 13 77 88.

More than 2,200 homes and properties have already been destroyed by bushfires across NSW this fire season, with months yet to go.

This story State govt vows to pay for bushfire clean-up - three months on first appeared on Glen Innes Examiner.