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ABC News 24 Afternoon Live -

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(generated from captions) then they will shift. Block blockThe then they will shift. Block
blockThe The trough now looks as though it will hold off until Monday. Most temperatures around the mid-air north
to high 30s. We will see those north to north-westerlies continue and then they will shift and potentially become quite gustingly afternoon.I is there a possibility that the wind strength will be a little bit weaker than what we saw yesterday afternoon. So the wind strength be on the side of the firefighters?The winds will still wind
but we're not talking damaging wind gusts which is what we experienced with this last front al system that came through. The next system to move through is a weak trough, so it's really not expected to see overly significant wind strength, it's that shift of wind direction and then even into Tuesday, still got north-west to north-easterlies an then shifting south to south-easterly. So we have lot of wind shifts over the weekend with those very warm conditions. I suppose the only benefit with that increasing moisture levels, the potential of some isolated showers but unfortunately models are back ing off on rainfall.Thank you very Let's cross live to the PM Tony Abbott who is at Winmalee in here
the Blue Mountains.Look I'm here at the Winmalee rural fire brigade command post. I have had the benefit of a briefing from Shane Fitzsimmons, the NSW rural fire brigade Commissioner. I have also had briefs from some of the local incident controllers. I am here with Marise Payne, the Minister for Human Service, the Louise Marcus, the local member, also with Senator dog Cameron ho is a d - Doug Cameron, a local resident, and the newly appointed shadow Minister for Human Services. first thing to do is to say on behalf of the people in the Parliament of Australia how much we feel for everyone right around the State of NSW particularly here in and around Winmalee how much we feel for everyone who has suffered through these devastating fires.Today is a much quieter day than yesterday but this is a fire emergency which could go on for quite some People time.There are hundreds of people who are grieve ing the loss of property, tragically there has been been it seems someone
one life lost further north, someone who was defending his house. We grieve for everyone impacted by these fires an we thank and thank congratulate everyone who is working to keep the State of NSW safe right now.We've had hundreds of police. We've had hundreds of NSW fire brigade workers and we've had literally thousands of rural fire brigade volunteers and State Emergency Services volunteers out over ordinary people
the last 24 hours.These are ordinary people who, on extraordinary day, come
together to support their fellow
community and to protect their fellow Australians. We are incredibly lucky to have them. We're supportive employers and supportive families who allow their loved ones to go out and do this kind of work when it's needed.I want to say thank you to the employers of NSW for making so many of their staff available to serve in the emergency services, particularly in the NSW rural fire brigades at this time. It could be a long, hot, dry summer. Over the last three months most areas of NSW have had above average temperatures an below average it's projected that over the next three months most parts of NSW will similar ly have above average temperatures an below average rainfalls. I trust that the employers of NSW will patient with those of their staff and workers who need to get out and serve with the emergency services, particularly with the rural fire brigades in coming months. This is an important way in which families and businesses can serve our community by supporting those of their members who are out with the rural fire brigades.But, look, again, I just want to say how sorry we are on behalf of the people and the Parliament of Australia for the hardache which so 34 hundreds of people in
in NSW - many hundred of people in NSW are coping with but of how proud we are of the thousands of volunteers full-time professionals who are out there keeping our safe on a difficult day.You've seen many fires over many years. How serious are these compared to others that you've been experience before?Look, I will take a couple of questions an then I will ask Senator Payne to about the Centrelink response which the Federal Government has made available. Look, I will leave the incident commissioner to
controllers an the NSW commissioner to comment on operation al aspects of fire. But plainly this very big fire. It's quite a property loss in the - losses in NSW. So this was a very, very big fire.Marise, do you just want to talk about the Centrelink response?Thank you very much, PM. First of all let me say that seeking support from Centrelink who have been impacted by the fires right across NSW is 180 served
22 66. The call centre is served staffed and people will be able to take your details now and ensure that you need is provided you. We are able to people whose homes have been tragically lost in the events of the last few days., whose homes have been significantly damaged and to those people who have suffered serious injury as well and there are a number of people who are currently in hospitals around this area and elsewhere who have been impacted from the fires. The Centrelink office in Springwood specifically will be open over the weekend to support the people here in this local area Macquarie,
and Mrs Marcus, the member for Macquarie, has been assisting
sure that
us enormously today with making sure that the resources, her constituent constituents need are available to them. We also have a mobile service centre up and running from first thing tomorrow morning in the Winmalee area itself, with Centrelink officers that are able to assist people in this community who have been badly affected by these events. And Centrelink officers in where - areas
otherary cras of the State where
where - areas of the State where significant damage has also occurred will make themselves available as those
We are very, very keen for have suffered
those who are concerned and who have suffered these impacts to call the emergency response number - 180 22 66. And people at
hopefully we can support those people at this very difficult Australian
time and to make sure that the Australian Government backs them in every way we can.Are there any further questions?These fires that we see all around the world seem to claim many more lives in other countries. Australia does seem able to cope with them much, much better. Why is that?Look, we have had a long, long experience of bushfire in this country. We've been dealing with bushfires in 24 country almost as long as we've had European settlement here.For thousands of years before the Europeans arrived, Aboriginal people were practising a form of fire management which in some respects was more successful than that which is being very
practised since. But we do have very long experience of dealing with fires. We have a very strong full-time paid infrastructure to cope with fires. As you can see, here at this command post we've got rural fire brigade, we would no doubt have in the area of NSW fire brigade, we've got police, we've got ambos, we've got a whole range of volunteer and community groups that come together to support the firefighting apparatus. We've just got a very, very long experience and I guess it's ingrained in our culture. We are not called a land of droughts and flooding rain, a sun burnt country nothing.The Premier has indicated that you may be close to or have already reached an agreement on disasters funding. Are you able to shed any light on the details there?Yes, the standard Das disaster relief arjs are now in place. The NSW Government will be dispensing money under those arrangements and the Commonwealth under the standard apportioning arrangement s will be up at least 50% of the tab.Is there any big figure on the cost of re building?Look, it is very, very early days. We think that property losses are in the hundreds, but it's too early to say. What the precise number of homes destroyed, buildings destroyed and damage is and it's far too early to put a price on how much it would cost to restore the NSW.OK, thank you There's the PM, Tony Abbott, speaking fire station in the Blue Mountains there. Saying that he and everybody in the Federal Government feels for those who have suffered in these