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Bushfire survivors are still waiting

Janet Reynolds is a retired school teacher who lost her Numbugga home to bushfires in 2018. Two years later she still lives in a caravan on the site of her burned down home.

Recently, her local MP recently asked the Morrison Government why it hasn't given communities like hers any of the $200 million in bushfire support it promised months ago. She was shocked at the response that there was "no need to spend" the money.1

Janet: "Bushfire Survivors Still Need Support"
Meanwhile people in bushfire affected areas are still living in tents while families and businesses are waiting indefinitely for help that was promised months ago.2,3

It's shameful. But together we can turn public attention back to these communities, so Morrison can't hide from his broken promises and the people they're hurting.

With your support we'll fund expert researchers to investigate the funding shortfall and produce a video series highlighting the struggles and resilience of bushfire survivors across Australia.

Will you chip in to highlight the stories of bushfire survivors like Janet and make sure they aren't forgotten?
Your support will fund:
  • Expert investigators to research funding promises and what was actually delivered through multiple agencies, exposing the amount of pledged support that never made it to communities;
  • A powerful video series highlighting the ongoing struggles of bushfire survivors, sharing their stories in their own words.
The videos the team shoots will tell personal stories of the hardship and resilience of bushfire survivors across the country – highlighting the need for urgent government support and real climate action.

You can watch Janet's powerful story here:

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On October 28th, the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements Report was handed down to the Government.4

It made abundantly clear that climate change, due to rising greenhouse gas emissions, are the reason last season's bushfires were so severe and so devastating. It also made clear that until we curb our emissions, we can expect even more of these extreme climate events, like floods and cyclones.

But on top of recommendations for all levels of government to work with Traditional Owners who have been succesfully managing fires for tens of thousands of years, it called out all the gaps in how financial assistance is given to communities impacted by bushfires, and the hoops they have to jump through to get that support:
  • People often needed to repeat information to multiple agencies, which can be traimatising and tiring
  • Navigating the various support programs can be confusing, overwhelming, and impact the mental health of applicants at a time of particular vulnerability
  • Individuals might self-assess that they may not be eligible for available supports, so do not attempt to access them
  • The application processes for some forms of support can be burdensome and, immediately post-disaster, many applicants are often not in a position to meet the information or evidentiary requirements of assistance.
[1] Hansard, House of Representatives, Eden-Monaro Electorate: Natural Disasters, 3 September 2020.
[2] You can see it in their eyes': long after the bushfires the pain lingers in Cobargo, The Guardian, 25 July 2020.
[3] Some bushfire victims still waiting for government help, ABC News, 14 May 2020.
[4] Royal Commission into National Ntural Disaster Arrangements Report, 28 October 2020.