Community bushfire appeal funds to be distributed to affected families
Money generously donated by the South Australian community to the Sampson Flat Bushfire Relief Appeal is being distributed to those most affected by January's fire.
The first allocation of funds will be received by families and individuals who lost their homes in the fire with further rounds to follow.
Communities and Social Inclusion Minister Zoe Bettison said the State Emergency Relief Fund currently stands at $1.5 million and the Committee in charge of the fund has so far reviewed more than 220 applications.
"The generosity of South Australians in response to the Sampson Flat bushfire has been incredible with more than 3000 individuals and businesses donating more than $1.5 million to the appeal," Ms Bettison said.
"This is on top of the more than $650,000 already provided to fire affected families as part of government emergency relief payments of up to $700.
"The response by South Australians to this disaster reaffirms the immense community spirit we have in this State, particularly during times of hardship and need.
"Corporations, businesses and the community have banded together to ensure those South Australians affected by this terrible event have the support they need."
Chair of the State Emergency Relief Fund Committee, Barry Grear AO, reminded those affected by the bushfire that it is not too late to apply for a cash gift from the fund.
"I encourage anyone who suffered loss or damage as a result of the bushfires to submit an application form if they have not already done so," Mr Grear said.
"Current figures show that 28 homes have been destroyed, 13,000 hectares of land was burnt and more than 900 livestock lost.
"So far, more than $200,000 of the donated money has been approved by the Committee for applicants whose homes and properties were completely destroyed."
"More donations will be distributed in the coming weeks to people who have had their homes and properties damaged. The Committee will continue to meet regularly to ensure all the donations are distributed as soon as possible."
Application forms are available online at www.sa.gov.au/recovery, through local council offices, or at the Sampson Flat Recovery Centre at Gumeracha.