BUSHFIRE PODS PROVIDE TEMPORARY HOMES FOR WYTALIBA FAMILIES

BUSHFIRE PODS PROVIDE TEMPORARY HOMES FOR WYTALIBA FAMILIES

Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, left, Weir Built Cranes Business Manager Peter Teschner and Glen Innes Severn Council Mayor Carol Sparks inspect the new bushfire recovery pods today, bound for Wytaliba.

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

FOUR Wytaliba families, whose dwellings were destroyed in last year’s devastating Kangawalla fire, will take delivery this week of temporary mobile accommodation while they rebuild their homes, with a number of ‘recovery pods’ arriving in Glen Innes this week thanks to the State Government and philanthropic organisation the Mindaroo Foundation.

Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall inspected the pods with Glen Innes Severn Mayor Carol Sparks today, ahead of their delivery to Wytaliba.

“The trauma these families, in particular the children, experienced during the recent bushfire crisis will stay with them forever and it’s important they are able to stay close to their family, friends and community,” Mr Marshall said.

“These recovery pods are compact but provide all the essentials for housing for families which have no other options and enables them to stay onsite where they will rebuild their homes and their lives.”

The NSW Government has partnered with Andrew and Nicola Forrest’s Minderoo Foundation to roll out more than 120 temporary accommodation ‘recovery pods’ across the State, to people whose homes were destroyed but are choosing to remain on their properties to rebuild.

“Each of the four 7.2 x 2.4 metre units currently in Glen Innes were constructed and trucked from Adelaide at a cost of around $30,000 each,” Mr Marshall said.

“They are fully self-contained and come equipped with a 2,300 litre water tank and the capacity to handle a 5 KVA generator to provide power.

“Each building also has a toilet, shower and small open kitchen with a two-burner stove and gas bottle.

“They are amazingly well fitted out and comfortable and will be installed onsite for the families at absolutely no charge to them.”

Mr Marshall said recent amendments to NSW planning regulations meant the temporary buildings could be used onsite by families for up to two years.

“Winter in the Glen Innes high country can be unforgiving, with temperatures easy falling into negative territory, so it will be a huge relief for the families benefiting from this program that Glen Innes Severn Council will have these buildings delivered and installed by the end of May,” Mr Marshall said.

Two pods have also been provided to the Tenterfield Shire, with one each delivered to Drake and Tabulam.

Mr Marshall added that from this week the State Government funded clean-up of fire affected properties across the region would also get underway.

“Locally based sub-contractors are in the process of contacting registered fire-affected property owners in the Glen Innes, Armidale, Tenterfield and Clarence Valley regions,” he said.

“From next Monday, 4 May, residents will see heavy machinery working in their areas between 7am-5pm on weekdays and 8am-4pm on weekends, which may cause some traffic delays as crews move from property to property.

“Typically, it takes around two days for crews to clear debris from one property, dependent on weather and conditions, and longer for properties where there are hazardous materials such as asbestos.

“The clean-up will remove debris that is stopping people from rebuilding on their property, such as concrete slabs, damaged driveways, dangerous trees or outbuildings near to primary residences and hazardous materials.

“Laing O’Rourke staff will discuss with residents the specifics of how their property will be cleared, including details such as how any personal items located during the clean-up should be handled and what structures should be retained or removed before works start.”

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