Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Emergency Services David Elliott today announced the appointment of Mr Euan Ferguson as Recovery Coordinator to oversee the response to the impact of the bushfire emergency.
Fires have already significantly impacted many communities across NSW and recovery operations have been underway for the last nine weeks. These current fires have caused further damage to many parts of Northern NSW and significant further damage to the Mid North Coast.
Ms Berejiklian said firefighting operations were still underway, with a significant fire threat remaining over the following days. Two people have lost their lives, seven people are currently unaccounted for and more than 150 structures have been destroyed.
“The situation is very serious. Our thoughts and prayers go to the families and loved ones of those who have died, and to all who have been affected by these fires,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“It is already clear there has been extensive damage across vast areas and it is appropriate to appoint Mr Ferguson now to familiarise himself with the impacts as they develop.”
Mr Ferguson’s stewardship will ensure a coordinated and consistent recovery occurs, working with the existing Northern NSW recovery operation and establishing a new Mid North Coast NSW recovery operation in partnership with impacted local councils.
Mr Ferguson has more than 40 years of experience in emergency services, and was Recovery Coordinator for the North Coast Floods in 2017 and Bega Valley Bush Fires in 2018. He has previously led the Victorian Country Fire Authority and South Australian Country Fire Service.
Mr Elliott said Mr Ferguson has the right expertise responding to regional emergencies and distinguished leadership in disaster recovery.
“We know he will provide excellent support to all affected by this natural disaster. Our firefighters are still battling the blaze, under incredibly tough circumstances, to protect lives and property,” Mr Elliott said.
“The Recovery Coordinator will now provide further assistance to communities by supporting local recovery activities and ensuring coordination and equity across the affected area.”
If you have been impacted by the fires and require emergency support, please contact the Public Information Enquiry Centre on 1800 227 228.
Information about recovery services can be found at: www.emergency.nsw.gov.au
Regular updates on @NSWDisasterRecovery Facebook page.