As fire conditions ease, Tasmanians who have been displaced are beginning to return to their homes and bushfire efforts are shifting to the recovery phase.
Our firefighters are still responding to bushfires burning across the State, however, all ‘Emergency Warning’ and ‘Watch and Act’ alerts have now been downgraded to ‘Advice’.
Importantly, if the bushfire threat escalates, the Government and our emergency services remain prepared and ready to protect Tasmanians and their property.
The Bothwell and Huonville evacuation centres have now closed.
The Huon Highway is now open to all travellers, as is the Highlands Lake Road between Miena and Bothwell. Other bushfire affected roads will continue to reopen as soon as it is safe and possible to do so.
The majority of Tasmania’s iconic parks are open and many have been unaffected by fire. For up to date information please visit www.parks.tas.gov.au.
Emergency Assistance Grants which have been available to those affected by the fires or smoke in the Huon Valley, Central Highlands and West Coast Local Government Areas will remain available until 5.00pm Friday 8 February.
As communities recover, other types of assistance remain available. Recovery and Restoration Grants are available to eligible Tasmanians who have suffered property damage, and Freight Subsidies can be accessed by eligible farmers and primary producers.
The Commonwealth Government is also offering the Disaster Recovery Allowance to provide short-term support to those who have suffered income loss as a direct result of the bushfires. More information on the available financial assistance can be found at www.tasalert.com/recovery.
The Tasmanian Emergency Information Service (1800 567 567) will continue to operate over the weekend.
A temporary combined information and services hub at the Huonville Library will be open to the public from 10am-5pm Tuesday to Friday next week.
Again, I would like to thank our firefighters, emergency service personnel, volunteers and community organisations for their hard work and assistance in protecting and supporting our local communities.