Government should pay rates for hushfire-affected homes: Labor

Torrington resident Richard Cork lost this house last year.
Torrington resident Richard Cork lost this house last year.

Homes still lying in ruins after last year's bushfires could soon be issued a rates notice, according to the Labor opposition, which yesterday called on government to subsidise the levy for fire-affected residents.

Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock today agreed to pick up the bill for one quarter, but Labor's Greg Warren said the announcement doesn't go far enough.

Shadow Minister Greg Warren yesterday said he's concerned a rates notice could add insult to injury to families recovering from last year's bushfires.

"Many councils are in the process of issuing their quarterly rate notices and this is the last thing families need as they struggle to put their lives back together," he said.

"This is a financial burden that they simply shouldn't have to bear."

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The Shadow Minister for Local Government said state government ought to subsidise their rates for the next two quarters, saying it would be a "small but significant step".

"The Berejiklian Government should be doing anything and everything it can to support communities who have been devastated by these catastrophic bushfires."

Councils are bound to compulsorily send out rate notices whether they want to or not by state legislation.

A spokesperson for the NSW government said they are doing all they can to help communities and local councils with disaster recovery and support.

"The Government is currently considering further financial options to support bushfire affected communities across NSW."

Others have criticised the Federal government for a lack of financial support.