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Government To Fund Fire Recovery Co-ordinator

5 January 2001

Government To Fund Fire Recovery Co-ordinator

The Government would help meet the costs of a co-ordinator to bring together the fire recovery effort in Marlborough, Rural Affairs Minister Jim Sutton said today.

He announced a grant of $15,000 would be made to enable professional recovery co-ordination, counselling, and technical assistance to be offered to farmers affected by the fires.

The grant will be administered by the Marlborough District Council.

Mr Sutton said the grant came from an emergency fund in the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry's budget, and was the Government's preliminary response to the disaster. The move followed discussions with leaders of the affected community and a report of a personal visit to the scene by Environment Minister Marian Hobbs.

"We will review the assistance when we receive the formal request for assistance from Federated Farmers national office, in case further help is needed. This will also allow us the flexibility to ensure maximum effectiveness."

He said early reports indicated that the losses of livestock, fencing, and water reticulation were expected to run into the millions of dollars. Federated Farmers is expected to give Mr Sutton a full report on the damage early next week.

Mr Sutton said that at a time of year when many key personnel were officially on holiday, he appreciated the effective teamwork between Federated Farmers, Marlborough District Council, and MAF. The local community had once again demonstrated its strength, resilience, and generosity, he said.

ENDS

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