Fencing boost for bushfire-affected farmers


7 March 2020

The NSW Government will donate repurposed guardrails and timber from across the state's northern road network to rebuild fences and help communities devastated by the recent bushfires get back on their feet.

Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for Disaster Recovery John Barilaro said that thousands of hectares of land and properties had been destroyed by the fires, devastating communities across NSW.

"Families, local businesses and primary producers have all really felt the brunt of the unprecedented bushfires, with many people having lost everything – their homes, sheds and even their livestock," Mr Barilaro said.

"We are committed to helping communities get back on their feet by funding the cleanup and getting essential materials like timber to those who need it most as quickly as possible."

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said bushfires ripped through the Clarence Valley, Port Macquarie, Nambucca and Kempsey regions at the end of last year, damaging many key roads.

"During the fires, Transport for NSW teams worked around the clock to maintain access to properties and nearby towns, moving into recovery mode as quickly as possible," Mr Toole said.

"While working hard to repair and reopen roads in the region, TfNSW teams saw an opportunity to put damaged guard rails and timber from fallen or burnt out trees on the state network to good use.

"By partnering with BlazeAid, we're hoping we can take at least one stress off the shoulders of farmers and the wider community by providing them with timber that can be easily repurposed for stock yards and as strainer or fence posts on farms."

BlazeAid founder Kevin Butler said BlazeAid works with families around Australia to rebuild fences and other structures which have been damaged or destroyed by natural disasters.

"Thanks to the donations, we've been able to get a significant volume of timber and guard rail to local communities impacted by the fires on the Gwydir and Oxley Highways as well as farmers on the mid and far north coast of NSW," Mr Butler said.

The NSW Government’s donation of repurposed timber to BlazeAid is in addition to the $1 million cash injection that was provided to BlazeAid late last year to assist farmers rebuild around 550 kilometres of fencing.

For more information, visit the BlazeAid website.

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