Media Release - Government must help all Australians in bushfire clean-up

The Government must develop a comprehensive response to the bushfire crisis and ensure Australians who have lost their homes aren’t forced to pay for the clean-up and removal of debris from their property.

Labor welcomes the $2 billion for the National Bushfire Recovery Agency and has been calling for a national approach to this bushfire emergency since November.

But the Government has failed to commit to a co-ordinated approach across the states to the removal of debris on properties impacted by the bushfires.

Australian homeowners looking to rebuild after the devastating fires are facing significant clean-up bills that could reduce the insurance cover available for rebuilding their homes.

Labor is calling for the Government to provide assistance through the National Bushfire Recovery Agency for the removal of debris from all properties and ensure that insurance claims can be used primarily to cover building costs.

Victoria introduced a similar policy after the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires that saw the state lead a co-ordinated response to the removal of debris across public and privately-owned land.

The differing state-based approach to insurance claims could see impacted homeowners left short-changed as a result of the bushfires and the extensive clean-up required.

This is a national emergency. It requires co-ordinated response across the country. Bushfires don’t respect state boundaries.

Australians can’t afford to keep waiting before this Government takes action to help all households and local communities recover.

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