Government Comes Through With Financial Assistance

Government Comes Through With Financial Assistance

Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett

Update On Toodyay Bushfire Financial Assistance Scheme

Victor P Taffa

More than $1.9 Million in payments has been approved from the Toodyay Bushfire Financial Assistance Scheme.

Premier Colin Barnett said 38 claims totalling $1,948,650 had been signed off, with an average approved payment of $51,280.

“Claims approved range from $1,000 to the maximum $190,000 and include 15 claims where houses were completely destroyed and 10 claims where people had no insurance.” Premier Barnett said.

“Of these, we have paid 11 claims totalling $957,500. The other 27 claims are waiting for claimants to return signed acknowledgement forms.”

“To date, 122 claims have been lodged and 102 have been contacted by the loss adjustor.” Premier Barnett said.

The State Government and Western Power announced the $10 Million financial assistance package in October for residents directly affected by the December 2009 Toodyay bushfire.

Premier Barnett said he was pleased with the progress of the payouts from the scheme which was made up of a $5 Million ex-gratia, goodwill payment from both the State Government and Western Power to help affected households get back on their feet.

An estimated 137 properties were damaged, with 38 homes destroyed. Up to 20 homes were uninsured while other affected homes were underinsured.

“It has been a year since the Toodyay bushfires and I am pleased that so much work has been done since the scheme was announced in October.” Premier Barnett said.

“The scheme acknowledges the impact of the fire on people who were not insured or who were not fully insured while also recognising the contributions already made by insurance companies.” Premier Barnett said.

“Residents receiving payments through the assistance package have not waived their rights to future litigation against Western Power.”

“The question of liability can only adequately be resolved in a Court of law therefore if people or their insurer choose to litigate, that is their right.” Premier Barnett said.

The total payment for each property is capped at $190,000, which compared favourably with the support provided to victims of the February 2009 Victorian bushfires ($15,000 for contents and a maximum of $85,000 for homes destroyed) which were primarily funded by donations.