NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Emergency Services Troy Grant today announced the appointment of Euan Ferguson as Recovery Coordinator to manage recovery efforts on the South Coast after the Bega Valley fire.
Mr Ferguson has more than 40 years of experience in emergency services and was Recovery Coordinator for the North Coast Floods in 2017.
He was also the Special Inquirer into the January 2016 Waroona Bushfire that destroyed over 100 homes in Yarloop in southwest Western Australia.
Mr Ferguson will be responsible for arranging accommodation for those in need, supporting clean up efforts, and working with small business and the broader community to help the recovery effort.
“Mr Ferguson has a proven record and the right expertise responding to regional emergencies. We know he will provide excellent support and leadership to all affected by this natural disaster,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“Our firefighters are battling the blaze and have done their utmost, under incredibly tough circumstances, to protect lives and property. The Recovery Coordinator will now provide further assistance to communities by supporting local recovery activities.”
Mr Grant said Mr Ferguson will arrive in the Bega Valley this afternoon and get straight to work helping those affected by the devastating fire.
“Mr Ferguson will work closely with individuals and families affected and all levels of Government and non-government organisations who can provide them assistance,” Mr Grant said.
“We have seen an incredible effort by emergency services, particularly our volunteers, over the last 24 hours, with more work to do to get the fire under control. I thank them and have no doubt the community will continue to work together as we move into the recovery phase.”
The NSW Government will also put in place protections to ensure emergency service volunteers involved in the flood operation are not penalised by their employers for giving up their time.
Member for Bega Andrew Constance reassured the local community the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is committed to ensuring those impacted by the fire have the support they need to recover and rebuild.
“Residents are coming to terms with the impacts and losses brought about by the fire. Those affected are doing it tough, but I know how tenacious and tight knit this community is. We will regroup and help one another recover,” Mr Constance said.
Insured residents are advised to contact their insurer or the Insurance Council Disaster Hotline on 1800 734 621.
Residents of Tathra or other affected persons are encouraged to go to the Bega Showground, on Tathra Road or the Bermagui Surf Club on Lamont Street.
Residents can access a range of services to support their recovery at these locations, in particular assistance with temporary housing or you can call the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444.
Information about the recovery and services available can be found at: www.emergency.nsw.gov.au.