Further assistance for NSW bush fire victims
"This is a very distressing time for those affected by these devastating bush fires and we are taking steps to help people re-build their lives," said NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell during a visit to thank firefighters at the Rural Fire Service station at Winmalee in the Blue Mountains.
Mr O’Farrell was joined this morning by Blue Mountains MP Roza Sage and Blue Mountains Emergency Recovery Coordinator Phil Koperberg.
"People who have lost their homes and vehicles in this bush fire crisis have enough on their minds without having to worry about vehicle registration charges and the cost of replacing essential government documents," Mr O'Farrell said.
"To help families and businesses, the owner of a vehicle will receive a pro-rata refund on registration fees if the vehicle was destroyed in the bush fires," he said.
"The NSW Government will also replace a driver licence or vehicle registration papers free-of-charge if they were destroyed in the fires.
"There will also be no charge for people who need to replace birth, marriage and change-of-name certificates.
"The $40 replacement cost for an RMS E-Toll tag will not be charged to people whose tags were damaged or destroyed in the bush fires.
"At times like this, it is crucial the NSW Government assists people wherever we can – and that's exactly what we're doing.
"This step comes after we waived the waste levy for people taking bush fire waste to the tip.
"We also announced that Sydney Water and Hunter Water customers would not be charged for the extra water used to defend their homes during the bush fire crisis.
"People seeking help with the bush fires can also call the new Service NSW 24/7 telephone service on 13 77 88.
"Customers are generally answered within 30 seconds and they will be provided the information they need or directly referred to an agency that can help them further."
Additionally information on bush fire assistance can be found at the Service NSW website.
Blue Mountains MP Roza Sage said the NSW Government is determined to do everything it can to help the Blue Mountains community get through this crisis and re-build.
"To ensure the recovery effort is centralised and methodical we have appointed former Rural Fire Service Commissioner Phil Koperberg as Emergency Recovery Coordinator," Ms Sage said.
"Mr Koperberg and myself will be working with the community and other stakeholders to ensure resources are made available to those people most in need," she said.
"A public meeting is being held tonight at 7pm at Winmalee High School to provide further information to residents about recovery assistance available."
Former Senior Assistant Police Commissioner Dick Adams has been appointed as Emergency Recovery Coordinator for the Hunter and Central Coast.