KI bushfire fund to be allocated

KI bushfire fund to be allocated

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The KI Mayoral Bushfire Fund is expected to be distributed to fire-affected farmers and businesses within the week.

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KI mayor Michael Pengilly said a committee has been set-up to help apportion the more than $2.34 million in donations from the Mayoral Bushfire Fund.

KI mayor Michael Pengilly said a committee has been set-up to help apportion the more than $2.34 million in donations from the Mayoral Bushfire Fund.

MONEY from the Kangaroo Island Mayoral Bushfire Fund is expected to be distributed to fire-affected farmers and businesses within the week.

At the KI Council's first official meeting for the year on Tuesday, a committee was set-up to help apportion the more than $2.34 million in donations, with hopes that would occur by early next week.

The committee comprises KI mayor Michael Pengilly, councillors Shirley Pledge and Peter Tiggemann, local independent resident Peter Murch and independent accountant Austin Taylor, Adelaide.

They are meeting today (Thursday) to start working on a list of candidates for the funding and assess each case for its needs.

"The public has been extremely generous, and we hope that will continue," Mr Pengilly said.

"We are keen to get the money out of that fund and get it being spent back in the local community.

"Local businesses need the support as much as our farmers and tourism needs to."

We are coming into the danger period for farmers.. - MICHAEL PENGILLY

Mr Pengilly said the army would also remain on the island for as long as the community needed, particularly with on-farm help.

"But we also need to be proactive," he said.

"We are coming into the danger period for farmers, they are coming to grips with what's happened and working their way through that - some may struggle.

"The fires are done, the livestock are buried, partners are going back to work, the kids are going back to school, but there is still an almighty mess to clean up on-farm.

"But they need to know the army is here - 638 army personnel are on the island.

"They're out there and they'll continue doing whatever they can for as long as it's required."

Mr Pengilly said the council would also look into reducing rates, fees and fines on a multitude of matters until the end of the financial year.

"We are going to look after our own," he said.

"The council may have to approach the government and ask for support on this, but we do not want to be asking for rates from people with no income, not for a few years."

GROUND SUPPORT: KI recovery coordinator Mike Williams has been on the ground to help coordinate recovery services and funding for the KI community.

GROUND SUPPORT: KI recovery coordinator Mike Williams has been on the ground to help coordinate recovery services and funding for the KI community.

Other support on the ground has come from the opening of a recovery centre at Parndana and emergency management specialist Mike Williams in the role of KI recovery coordinator.

Mr Williams was appointed by the government to work with the KI community, particularly local government, state and federal agencies, and local leaders, to develop a community-led recovery process.

He has been on the island since January 3 and has been initially helping people to get their basic fundamentals back in place, such as food, water, shelter and communications.

Looking ahead however, Mr Williams said his work would become more recovery focused.

"Now that the livestock has been buried and there is a flow of hay onto the island, we are now helping to get fencelines cleaned up to allow BlazeAid to come in and help landholders re-do their fencing," he said.

"I have also been working with PIRSA and SA Water on the supply of potable and stock water as water security has become an issue.

"And, working in with the recovery centre, we will assist people to get connected into the services and funding that may be available, such as the $75,000 farmer and $50,000 small business grants, and any health and well-being support they may need."

  • Details: Mike Williams 0418 818 522
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