Last chance to apply for SA Bushfire Appeal payments

Keeping spirits up on the Playford Highway, Kangaroo Island. Photo Stan Gorton
Keeping spirits up on the Playford Highway, Kangaroo Island. Photo Stan Gorton

Kangaroo Island residents affected by the summer's devastating bushfires are being urged to apply for their share of $3 million that remain unallocated in the SA Bushfire Appeal fund.

To date, $8.8 has been collected and almost $5.8 million paid to 827 impacted families and businesses on Kangaroo Island and the Adelaide Hills, but it is believed some eligible South Australians may be missing out.

If no further eligible applications are received, the funds will be distributed among current recipients who will receive additional funds based on the categories they're eligible for.

Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink encouraged people within affected communities to apply for the financial assistance before applications close on July 31.

"People directly affected by the fires in the Adelaide Hills or on Kangaroo Island can still apply to receive financial assistance from this fund - and I really urge people who haven't come forward to do so," Ms Lensink said.

"Many South Australians suffered significant loss as a result of the fires, including damage to homes, vehicles, businesses, stock and infrastructure. To address this, there are several categories of payments under the SA Bushfire Appeal that people can access if eligible."

Funds raised through the SA Bushfire Appeal are paid into the State Emergency Relief Fund, which is then administered by an independent committee to ensure the fair distribution of money.

Each application is assessed against all categories, including any future categories, to ensure the payments go to those who need it most.

Every dollar that has been raised by the SA Bushfire Appeal, including a $2 million pledge from the state government would be distributed to those affected by the fires, she said,.

"I'd like to thank the individuals and businesses in the community who have dug deep and given generously."

Donations are still being accepted but will also close on July 31.

"These donations have already gone a long way to helping our communities get back on their feet, and full distribution of the funds will further bolster recovery efforts," she said.

Applications for Round 1 of the SA Bushfire Appeal's non-profit community groups and organisations for the Community Strength and Resilience Initiative close on July 3.

A plume of smoke from the Ravine fire on January 3, 2020. Photo CFS

A plume of smoke from the Ravine fire on January 3, 2020. Photo CFS

The local recovery team on KI knows that people are overwhelmed with the various grant applications.

Meanwhile some victims have said that they aren't applying for funding because they didn't fare as badly as their neighbour down the road.

KI fire recovery coordinator Rob Manton had said the local recovery team wanted reinforce that there is enough to go around and applying for grant funding doesn't take funds away from anyone else.

Recovery centre staff are ready to help residents fill out the forms for this or any other grants. Just give them a call on 0438 861 215 or email KIFireRecovery@sa.gov.au

Kangaroo Island mayor Michael Pengilly accepts $15,000 from Mary Vannini of La Vita Fresh Pasta and also $10,000 from Salisbury mayor Gillian Aldridge.

Kangaroo Island mayor Michael Pengilly accepts $15,000 from Mary Vannini of La Vita Fresh Pasta and also $10,000 from Salisbury mayor Gillian Aldridge.

Meanwhile, donations continue to be made to the Kangaroo Island Mayoral Relief and Recovery Bushfire Fund, administered by the KI Council.

Mayor Michael Pengilly while on the mainland this week accepted a cheque for $15,000 from Mary Vannini of La Vita Fresh Pasta and also $10,000 from the Salisbury Council and its mayor Gillian Aldridge.

Comments