Senate debates

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Questions without Notice

New South Wales: Bushfires

2:39 pm

Photo of Mathias CormannMathias Cormann (WA, Liberal Party, Vice-President of the Executive Council) Share this | Hansard source

As I'm sure Senator Watt would know, it is actually the New South Wales state government that is doing the job on the ground, supported by the federal government, which is providing 50 per cent of the funding to pay for the cost of the clean-up. I am happy to inform Senator Watt that, as of 11 May, I believe that about 2½ thousand out of 3,700 houses have had debris cleared. About 130 crew across New South Wales are working as we speak, with about 300 houses being cleared of debris a week. State authorities and relevant authorities in New South Wales will continue to work as fast as they can. My advice is that most debris will be cleared by the end of June and all is expected to be completed by 31 July. In all of the circumstances, including the impact of COVID-19, I would have thought that the Labor Party would understand that we are dealing with a particular circumstance that is more challenging than we envisaged back in January.


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