NSW Labor has once again instilled unnecessary fear and angst into bushfire-affected communities with the false claim that ratepayers will be left to foot the bill for the clean-up.
On 13 February, the Shadow Minister for Environment Kate Washington irresponsibly said “Councils have been excluded from the state and federal government’s clean-up package, which means ratepayers will be left to foot the bill.”
Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for Disaster Recovery John Barilaro said NSW Labor continues to choose fear over facts and should reconsider spreading misinformation to communities that are still in the midst of recovery from the worst bushfire season in NSW history.
“The NSW Government in partnership with the Commonwealth Government is covering the cost of the clean-up and we will continue to support hard-hit communities in every way we can,” Mr Barilaro said.
“We have already seen tens of millions of dollars put towards grants and loans as well as waiving day-to-day costs including development applications fees, and the waste levy, which has been in place since November last year for areas declared bushfire Natural Disaster Areas.
“This Government’s priority is to ensure communities that have been devastated by the bushfires are assisted in every way possible, not to take cheap shots by spreading fear and concern to communities that have already been through so much.”
The NSW Government has committed an additional $1 billion to repair and rebuild vital infrastructure including roads, rail lines, bridges, schools and health facilities.
“This is a classic case of Labor running with stories that are purely to spark fear in communities that are trying to get back on their feet,” Mr Barilaro added.
“If Greg Warren and Kate Washington genuinely cared about helping communities recover, they would get their facts straight and put their energy towards helping these communities instead of politicising them.”