26 Oct 2013

Blue Mountains fire victims lose govt payouts

9:51 pm on 26 October 2013

In New South Wales, residents of the fire-ravaged Blue Mountains town of Winmalee are criticising the Australian federal government for cutting back its payouts to victims of the bushfires, some of which are still burning.

The eligibility rules for disaster relief payments have been tightenend and people seriously affected by the fires are being paid just under $NZ1160 for adults and just over $NZ460 for each child.

Leigh Hansen, says although his mother lost her home, and will be paid, others are missing out.

People who were locked out of their houses, people who lost utilities, they would've been eligible for assistance previously, now they're no longer eligible for it.

He said he was livid when he found out people were having entitlements stripped from them.

Labor Senator Doug Cameron says it's the first change to federal disaster relief eligibility since 2007, and New South Wales victims are being treated more harshly than those in last summer's Tasmanian wildfires.