THE criteria for bushfire affected Kangaroo Island residents wanting to access the KI Council's relief and recovery fund are now set and applications are circulating around the Island on online.
The KI Mayoral Bushfire Relief and Recovery Fund committee met on Thursday morning to determine the criteria as to who would be eligible for the fund that has now reached over $2.4 million.
Applications were printed in time for the CFS and relief centre community meeting at the Parndana Sports Club on Thursday evening.
The bushfire fund allocation committee consists of the mayor, councillors Shirley Pledge and Peter Tiggemann, local independent resident Peter Murch and independent accountant Austin Taylor from Adelaide.
KI Mayor Michael Pengilly urged everyone to have patience in seeking to access the fund, as proper procedure and protocol had to be followed.
"There has to be a high level of accountability and we need to make sure the criteria are met," he said.
Mr Pengilly also said it was hoped that the money donated would be spent locally and circulate around the local KI economy.
The council's relief fund allocations would supplement those being made available from State and Federal authorities.
The council anticipated that funds would keep flowing to KI's bushfire affected residents from donations and Government funding over the weeks and months ahead, and encouraged people to keep donating.
The fund had also now received tax deduction approval from the Australian Tax Office.
The criteria are as follows:
- Category 1 - Deceased Persons
The next of kin of the people who died in the Fire are eligible for a compassion and bereavement gift payment of $20,000.
- Category 2 - Injury
People who were seriously injured by the Fire and who had an extended stay in hospital are eligible for a gift of up to $5,000.
- Category 3 - Destroyed Homes
Property owners whose house was destroyed or rendered uninhabitable by the Fire are eligible to receive $5,000 per household.
Property owners who are owner/occupiers of the house destroyed are also eligible to receive an additional $500 per child under 18 years of age, residing at the premises.
Tenants whose principal place of residence, was destroyed or rendered uninhabitable by the Fire are eligible to receive $5,000 and an additional $500 per child under 18 years of age, residing at the premises.
- Category 4 - House and/or Property Damage
Property owners who experienced infrastructure damage to their house or contents as a result of the Fire and/or householders who principal place of residence suffered infrastructure damage to their house or property are eligible for a gift of $2,000. The property has to be within the Fire footprint.
Property owners who experienced infrastructure damage to shedding are eligible for a gift of $4,000 per property assessment number. The property has to be within the Fire footprint.
Property owners who experienced infrastructure damage to water tanks and pumps, fences and farm equipment are eligible for a gift of $2,000 per property assessment number. The property has to be within the Fire footprint.
- Category 5 - Business
Households who derive an income from the affected property, e.g. primary producers, small businesses, are eligible to receive $2,000 per property.
Sharefarmers who derive an income from the affected property will be eligible per property $2,000.
- Category 6 - Vehicles
People who experienced damage to vehicles a result of the Fire are eligible to receive $500 per household.
Applications forms can be accessed at the relief centre in Parndana and also on the KI Council website: https://www.kangarooisland.sa.gov.au/community/kangaroo-island-bushfires-2020/ki-mayoral-relief-and-recovery-bushfire-fund-application
Official tax recognition
Mr Pengilly advises that donations made to the KI Mayoral Relief & Recovery Bushfire Fund that the Australian Taxation Office can be claimed as a tax deduction.
Known to the ATO as Deductible Gift Recipient Status, Mr Pengilly is hopeful the tax deductibility will attract further donations to the fund that has raised more than $2.408m.
"Let's set the bar high and see if we can reach $3m by the end of the Long Weekend," he said.
"I am confident this endorsement by the ATO will be an additional motivator to those still thinking of making a donation.
"The ATO status is important to the Fund and I would like to thank the ATO for the speed and diligence that they applied to processing our application."
All donations made to the Fund since it was opened on January 4 are tax deductible.
The first meeting of the Fund Committee that will oversee the governance and disbursement of the Fund monies will met on the January 23.
All funds donated will go directly to those impacted by the KI bushfires.
Mr Pengilly said he will be eternally grateful for the outpouring of support for the Island and Mayoral Fund.
"The response is overwhelming and moving. And I urge anyone still thinking of committing funds to those on KI who are doing it tough from the bushfires, to please give generously," he said.