Saffin pushes for clean-up of homes destroyed by Torrington fire
LISMORE MP Janelle Saffin has been pushing the NSW Government to expedite clean-up of eight homes destroyed when the Gulf Road Fire ripped through the Northern Tablelands hamlet of Torrington on Friday, November 8 last year.
Ms Saffin, who visited Torrington soon after the worst fire there in living memory, has kept up to date with bushfire recovery efforts across the Northern Tablelands.
“The message I have been relaying to Government is to send manual workers to remote communities like Torrington because it is this kind of practical assistance which can greatly improve the mental health of all,” she said.
“While we welcome mental health workers, Torrington residents simply want to see practical action on the ground.
“NSW Deputy Premier and NSW Minister for Disaster Recovery John Barilaro’s office has now advised my office that Public Works Advisory (PWA) has been continuing to progress assessment for clean-up works on the Northern Tablelands.
“Public Works Advisory (PWA) will continue this until newly-appointed state-wide clean-up contractor Laing O’Rourke are at full capacity and have all of their regional delivery teams running, according to Mr Barilaro’s office.
“A further eight sites were assessed yesterday (Tuesday, February 18) with a contractor in Torrington and the expectation is that these sites will be started within the next two weeks.
“Public Works Advisory advised that there will be a tailored individual agreement between the contractor and homeowners/renters who lost their homes.
“While I welcome the promised action for residents doing it really tough, it is a pity that it has taken more than three months to put this in place.”
Ms Saffin said she had also been advised that contractor (Southern Cross Deconstruction) has started clean-up this week in Tenterfield with five sites and two more sites have been identified and included in this contractor’s works.
“It is expected that these will all be completed within two to three weeks, and that this will complete all known works in Tenterfield, according to Mr Barilaro’s office,” Ms Saffin said.