The Blue Mountains' three political representatives have called on the NSW government to provide urgent, immediate bushfire assistance to the area.
Federal Member for Macquarie Susan Templeman, State Member for Blue Mountains Trish Doyle and Blue Mountains mayor Mark Greenhill issued a joint statement at 2.30pm on Tuesday. It called on the government to act before there are more property losses in the Blue Mountains.
"We need more assistance for people already fire-affected by this mega-blaze," the statement reads.
"Residents and businesses in our community deserve the same level of support as other areas. Right now, the financial support available is confusing and it's distressing for people in our community to be left in a state of limbo.
"The state government must trigger the necessary mechanisms that allow residents and businesses in the Blue Mountains to access bushfire assistance."
The statement came after the NSW government announced on Tuesday a commitment up to $25 million for the cleanup of homes and properties damaged and destroyed by the recent fires.
"Having witnessed firsthand the devastation these bushfires have inflicted on local communities, it is vital the government acts right away to provide assistance as quickly as possible," said NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.
"Our tremendous volunteers are still on the fire ground battling these blazes, and while this mammoth effort continues, the recovery is already underway."
Deputy premier John Barilaro said the funding will help pay for the cleanup of hazardous materials including the removal of asbestos-contaminated material released as a result of the bushfires, concrete slabs and all dangerous debris including destroyed homes and trees.
Emergency services minister David Elliott said the NSW government would be part of the disaster recovery for the long term and more support will be made available as the extent of the damage becomes clear.
"Communities are hurting right now and we hear their calls for assistance. We still have fire fighters on the frontline saving lives and property but we are already fighting to save livelihoods," he said.
The full statement by the Susan Templeman, Trish Doyle and Mark Greenhill reads:
We, the Federal, State and Local Representatives for the Blue Mountains, are calling on the NSW Government to provide urgent bushfire assistance now.
The Government must not wait for more property losses before it acts. We need more assistance for people already fire-affected by this mega-blaze.
Residents and businesses in our community deserve the same level of support as other areas.
Right now, the financial support available is confusing and it's distressing for people in our community to be left in a state of limbo.
The State Government must trigger the necessary mechanisms that allow residents and businesses in the Blue Mountains to access bushfire assistance.
By failing to act, it is leaving individuals, businesses and primary producers without desperately needed support.
There are currently no Disaster Welfare Access Points or face to face supports for people affected by the Gospers Mountain fire.
Nor are businesses and primary producers eligible for Disaster Recovery Grants to assist with clean-up and restoration costs in the aftermath of extreme natural disasters.
We know from bitter experience that residents and businesses need immediate action to give them the best chance of recovery.
The Prime Minister has said he's waiting for the State Government to request additional assistance.
With many properties lost or damaged on Sunday in the Mt Wilson to Bilpin area, including Mt Tomah, and a horror week of extreme weather expected, we can't wait any longer.
There is nothing normal about this bushfire season.
The Blue Mountains is currently surrounded by several fires and is expected to face bushfire threats for weeks to come.
The Gospers Mountain fire stands at more than 400,000 hectares - if that doesn't qualify as an 'extreme natural disaster', what does?