Above: The Joy in the Struggle, by Moriah Nelson 11 yrs, Arlie Richardson 10 yrs, Monique Sosa 11 yrs from Towamba Public School. Image courtesy Kristy McBain Facebook
The newly-elected Member for Eden Monaro, Labor's Kristy McBain, is pursuing the Federal Government over bushfire funding.
In parliament last week Ms McBain asked Prime Minister Scott Morrison why $50 million dollars in Commonwealth funding for bushfire mitigation had not been spent in the last financial year and prior to the bushfire disaster in the region.
The $200 million dollar Emergency Response Fund, which includes the mitigation funding was set up on the 12th December, 2019.
Ms McBain says a new allocation of $50 million dollars for mitigation is in the kitty once again through the Emergency Response Fund, and says it must be spent in bushfire-ravaged communities.
She says anxiety is growing, with uncomfortably warm spring temperatures, and says the government owes it to the 33 Australian's killed last season, the 3000 plus homes destroyed, the three billion animals wiped out, and the tens of millions of hectares scorched, to follow through on what needs to be done.
Ms McBain says she's now secured a meeting with the Minister for Emergency Management David Littleproud to call for urgent action. She says the community needs some reassurance. "What I want to see is that engagement take place as soon as possible. The communities right across Eden Monaro would already have a list of projects that would help with bushfire mitigation.
"At the very least making sure that our key transport and freight routes wouldn't be blocked during times of bushfire disaster would be paramount, as well as making sure that our communication systems are more resilient.
"They are two quick measures that could be planned out and put in place as soon as possible to give our communities peace of mind," she said.