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Willing hands help get rebuilding underway

Wednesday 26 February 2020

Bushfire affected residents wanting to rebuild will have their development applications fast tracked thanks to some willing hands visiting from Sydney.

Four employees from Inner West Council – Cameron Gray, Conor Wilson, Asher Richardson and Ellen Shannon – have temporarily joined Eurobodalla’s team of seven development assessors to help process existing applications and make way for new ones.

Eurobodalla Mayor Liz Innes said decisions around rebuilding – “if, when, how?” – would be different for everyone but the process must be quick and easy.

“Normal business was interrupted during the bushfires, with some staff unable to safely travel to work and others tasked with immediate emergency response action,” Clr Innes said.

“Thanks to the generosity of the Inner West Council and to the willingness of Cameron, Conor, Asher and Ellen to lend us a hand, we can get on with supporting our community to rebuild, with an upswing in applications during the last few weeks.”

Clr Innes said NSW Government fees associated with development application fees had been waived for home owners rebuilding bushfire-affected buildings, and Council was offering Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) assessments for impacted property owners to simplify and make that process quicker.

“The NSW and Australian Governments will cover the cost of bushfire clean-up and I welcome the arrival of contractors Laing O’Rourke to Eurobodalla last week to start the work,” she said.

“They expect most residential properties to be substantially cleared by 30 June.”

Inner West Council has also provided arborists to Bega Valley Shire Council and sediment control staff to Central Coast Council. Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne said everyone should contribute during times of national emergency.

“In particular the city must offer a helping hand to the bush,” Clr Darcy Byrne said.

“Mayors, councillors and local citizens in affected communities have been showing real leadership during this crisis. We are ready to support their work and to stand in solidarity with their communities.”