The NSW Nationals in Government continue to support bushfire-affected communities, announcing $8.5 million for Operation Outreach, which is aimed at ensuring everyone who needs support gets it.

NSW Nationals Member for Myall Lakes Stephen Bromhead said the bushfire recovery program was pushing ahead in leaps and bounds and the NSW Nationals in Government were committed to ensuring no one was left behind.

“Operation Outreach is a dedicated program from the Government, local councils, charities and locally embedded recovery services which will proactively seek out bushfire-impacted families and individuals to ensure they are utilising the raft of support available. This is above and beyond the ongoing engagement already underway,” Mr Bromhead said.

“The NSW and Federal Nationals in Government, in partnership with Laing O’Rourke, have so far cleared around 1300 properties free of charge to property owners and we are well on track to meet the ambitious target of majority properties cleared by June 30.”

Deputy Premier and NSW Nationals Leader John Barilaro said the thing that kept him up at night was that someone might fall through the cracks when it came to bushfire recovery, and the Operation Outreach program would directly address this concern.

“Operation Outreach will be undertaken in two stages – the first step will see dedicated support officers ensure contact has been made with every single person who has been impacted by bushfires and actively seek out anyone who has not made contact,” Mr Barilaro said.

“The second step is to refer those in need to the dedicated, local recovery support service.”

The localised support model takes key learnings from previous disaster events, including the 2013 Blue Mountains Bushfires, 2017 Sir Ivan Fire and 2018 Tathra fire.

“Since November, the NSW Nationals in Government have provided over 8000 people with emergency accommodation and we are rolling out temporary accommodation pods in partnership with the Minderoo Foundation,” Mr Bromhead added.

“We know that people who have experienced trauma seek help according to their own timeline and this program ensures nobody misses out.”

The funding comes from the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangement (DFRA) which is jointly funded with the Federal Government.

The NSW Nationals in Government continue to support communities impacted by bushfires through various grants, loans and other services including:

  • More than 1,300 properties have been cleared by Laing O’Rourke
  • 99% of the clean-up contracts are going to local and regional contractors
  • More than $160 million paid out in $10,000 small business grants
  • More than $76 million has been paid out in $75,000 primary industry grants
  • More than $15 million has been spent on providing health and wellbeing support
  • Almost $4 million in disaster welfare grants have been paid out
  • The $140 million Bushfire Industry Recovery Package
  • More than 8,000 people have been placed in emergency accommodation since November
  • More than 100 pods through a partnership with Minderoo Foundation and NSW Government are being rolled out to communities who need to stay on their land
  • $1 billion commitment to rebuild public infrastructure
  • $10 million marketing campaign to promote tourism