I am delighted that the Turnbull Government will deliver a further $1.15m to help fund the construction of retaining walls and road stabilisation works at Wye River and Separation Creek, in the wake of the 2015 Christmas Day bushfires.
The money has been made available under Category D of the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) which provides funding in exceptional circumstances caused by natural disaster. The Victorian Government is matching this funding and providing further funding for drainage and stormwater infrastructure, delivering $4.5m in total.
These communities have endured so much pain and hardship. I wish to thank Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Justice Minister Michael Keenan, who has responsibility for the NDRRA, for all their support.
The bushfires directly damaged numerous retaining wall structures within Wye River and Separation Creek which has increased the risk of landslip affecting residential properties and local roads, potentially causing loss of life. In towns which are built on such steep hills, this funding will make a dramatic difference.
The funding is in addition to $3.89m the Commonwealth has already provided under the NDRRA for emergency payments and infrastructure works for Wye and Sep.
The 2015 fire burnt through 2,520 hectares of land and destroyed 18 houses at Separation Creek and 98 at Wye River causing great distress and personal hardship for many local families.
I am very proud of the many ways in which the Turnbull government has continued to support these unique Great Ocean Road communities.
Our government is, in partnership with the state, delivering $100m for the Great Ocean Road. This program has already delivered a new bridge for Separation Creek and upgraded roads into Wye River. We have also committed to help fund new mobile base stations for Separation Creek and Kennett River under our $220m Mobile Blackspots program. The Kennett River Surf Life Saving Club also recently received $25,500 to help better prepare the community from the threat of bushfires under the Turnbull Government’s $15m National Bushfire Mitigation Programme.
I have also been proud to stand up for some local homeowners who have treated very badly by AAMI Insurance.
12 January 2017