NSW Labor’s Deputy Leader Yasmin Catley has slammed the Deputy Premier, John Barilaro, for his failure to effectively coordinate a statewide clean-up of homes destroyed by bushfire.
It comes after action finally began months after hundreds of homes were destroyed in a series of blazes.
"John Barilaro has spent the last nine months daydreaming about getting a plum gig in Canberra and he has forgotten the thousands of bushfire survivors who are trying to pick up the pieces in towns and communities that bore the brunt of disaster,” Ms Catley MP said.
The northern region of New South Wales dealt with cumulative bushfires beginning in September 2019, and it has taken until the end of April for the government appointed clean-up contractor, Laing O’Rourke, to make contact with survivors in shires such as Glen Innes, Tenterfield and Armidale.
When John Barilaro first announced the coordinated clean-up project in January, he said it would be finished by June 30. In mid-March however, at a Budget Estimates hearing, he admitted that the deadline was ‘aspirational’ and began downplaying expectations that the clean-up could be achieved by then.
“It has been eight months since homes were first lost in the north of our state. People are couchsurfing, living in sheds, or paying through the nose for rental accommodation, and there is no end in sight. These people just want to rebuild their lives,” Ms Catley said.
The Deputy Premier has spent many months backgrounding journalists and colleagues about his plans to quit State Parliament and contest the Eden-Monaro byelection, but this morning finally ruled himself out of contention.
“John Barilaro is obsessed with every job but the one he’s actually got. The past six months of dithering and delay is unforgivable. The Deputy Premier needs to get back to work,” Ms Catley said. Meanwhile on his Twitter page Mr Barilaro has come under serious critisism around the announcement of 9 pods arriving in Coabargo
Below are just some of the 1500 comments: Mike Carlton Took a by-election to get you off your arse, did it ? Amazing. margo69 And so the pork barrelling begins. Nothing like a little election to get the money flowing. Funny how it wasn’t important until this weekend. So I guess you have decided to run and will bend over backwards to win. I hope they see right through you. Madre Jay - Swift Justice Oh look 3 months too late but just in time for the by election - quell surprise Father Ted When were the bushfires again? January? You pollies sure move FAST! I also understand you're putting your hand up for Eden Monaro preselection? Strange these pods arriving now. Have you checked with Scotty to see if there's any sports grant money available BTW? Jackie Huge bush fires started in August 2019. Morrison secretly scuttles off to Hawaii early December. Lake Conjola 31 December had people huddled on beaches watching their homes burn. Mallecoota people evacuated by navy ships! Bush fire fund "notional"! But by-election.... Nestor Moreno A few months too late buddy. Oh that’s right, trying to get to the “big dance”.... this is fodder for your opponents who will point out your timing and hollow sentiments. Kailas Wild Absolute. Joke. Bianca Bragging about this, really?!As always, too little too late! The NSW government should hang its head in shame! It this the best they can do? Nice Shirt 4 months to sort out temporary accommodation? Remarkable timing. Phteven with a pee haitch So you're definitely running for Eden-Monaro then? Coincidence after so long this has happened just now? We think not. Susannah Today?? Oh my goodness those poor people. Why wasn’t this done months ago? Oh wait a minute... Em - Staying under my doona May I ask what accommodation these poor people have been residing in over the past 4 months?