Grateful for fire help

From devastation springs new life. At the Andrade family’s home in Winmalee, which was lost during the October bushfires, on the cleared block little signs of life have reappeared, including a tomato plant.

The little plant bursting with tomatoes was shared with Speaker of the NSW Legislative Assembly, Shelley Hancock, and MP Roza Sage, who visited the site last week.

The Andrade family was grateful to members of the NSW Parliament, who upon learning of Joe Andrade’s loss, had raised thousands of dollars in monetary and physical donations to help the family set up their temporary home in Glenbrook.

Mr Andrade has been a personal assistant of the past five speakers for more than 30 years, and after living at their Moray Street home for 17 years, made the decision only recently to rebuild. Left with nothing after the fire, the donations have been warmly welcomed by the family of four.

“It got us on our feet. Without them it would have been a lot harder,” Mr Andrade said.

When hearing how Mr Andrade’s son Nathan, an apprentice carpenter, had lost all his tools, Monaro MP John Barilaro replaced his tools and delivered them personally.

Mrs Hancock said the response was overwhelming with donations of money, clothing, furniture and appliances received from all sides of politics to assist the Andrade family get back on their feet.

Mrs Sage and Mrs Hancock also visited the NSW Rural Fire Service district office at Katoomba to thank Blue Mountains RFS members for their role in fighting the fires.

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