David Littlerpoud MP David Littlerpoud

Labor’s cruel fire support omission abandons Fairyland locals

March 9, 2023

Families in parts of the Western Downs are unable to access disaster recovery funding from theFebruary fires, because Labor hasn’t completed assessments and updated its websites.

It has turned living in the suburb of Fairyland into a real-living nightmare for residents like GregoryMossop.

The 67-year-old has lived on his beloved seven-acre block for 20 years and although he couldnever afford a house, he always loved living in the shed he built there, even installing his own solarsystem last year.

“I finally didn’t have to worry about a power generator or a fridge not defrosting,” Mr Mossopsaid.

“I scrimped and went without, I bought everything second-hand to finally get power. Instead ofbuying tim tams, I saved and built it all myself.”

But on February 14, a fire tore through Mr Mossop’s property, destroying structures, solar panels,a generator, tools and personal items.

Despite the State Labor government naming Fairyland as an area where people could access

disaster assistance in press releases and social media posts, three weeks later, state and federalLabor websites for Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) and Services Australia fail tomention Fairyland.

It means Mr Mossop is still waiting, with little more than the clothes he wears.

“I’m shattered to be honest – I lost all my chainsaws, my tools. I’m entitled to nothing and yet wewere one of the three places named on tv where they said the fires were happening.”

Leader of The Nationals and Member for Maranoa David Littleproud said Labor omitting parts ofthe Western Downs from jointly-funded DRFA – despite declaring it as one of the most affectedareas – was hurting the community.

The essential household contents grant is worth $1765 per person or up to $5300 for couples orfamilies.

Other grants include the essential services safety and reconnection grant and the structural

assistance grant.

“People like Gregory need immediate assistance,” Mr Littleproud said.

“It’s puzzling some sections of Local Government Associations (LGAs) aren’t included for DRFA.

Emergency Management Minister Murray Watt needs to visit these properties as a priority and fixthis mistake, so those impacted can start to rebuild their lives and replace damaged fences ormove stock if required.

“We cannot afford to wait weeks on end for suburbs and locations to be added to an eligibility listby Labor. My community has been through enough stress during the fires – it doesn’t need Laborto make things even harder.”