Blue Mountains Council lays out plans for bushfire recovery

Rent relief for Blue Mountains businesses struggling due to the bushfires will be among a raft of measures Blue Mountains City Council will consider at its next meeting.

Providing rental subsidies for businesses in council-owned buildings, as well footpath fee subsidies for local businesses, will be among the options councillors will be asked to adopt at the January 28 meeting.

The proposals also include a social wellbeing recovery program to support residents directly impacted by the bushfires and initiatives to clear dangerous trees plus provide more tailored waste options for affected villages.

Plans to support the local economy will also include a destination marketing campaign for the Blue Mountains and a series of "Live and local" events providing local employment and attracting visitors back to the area.

Other initiatives will focus on repairing damaged infrastructure and ensure communities have access to water and other basic requirements.

Blue Mountains mayor Mark Greenhill and council CEO Rosemary Dillon at the community recovery meeting at Mount Tomah on January 11. Photo: Sarah Hyde.

Blue Mountains mayor Mark Greenhill and council CEO Rosemary Dillon at the community recovery meeting at Mount Tomah on January 11. Photo: Sarah Hyde.

Blue Mountains chief executive officer Dr Rosemary Dillon said: "It is imperative that we get endorsement and start rolling these recovery programs out immediately, in order to support our affected residents and communities, as well the local businesses who are suffering because visitors have stayed away during the traditionally busy Christmas/New Year period.

"We are meeting with our affected community and are committed to working with neighbouring councils, and state and federal agencies, to find efficiencies in the recovery process and advocate for other resourcing," she said.

"Most importantly, we want to make the recovery process as easy as possible for all those that are affected."

Blue Mountains mayor Mark Greenhill said he supported the four-pronged proposal for recovery.

"These initiatives mean council can continue to support our community in the four broad areas of social wellbeing, environment and waste, local economy and built infrastructure needs.

"We know that this community is resilient. But we also know, from the 2013 bushfires in the Blue Mountains, that the recovery process will be long."

Blue Mountains Council has joined the Greater Sydney Regional Recovery Group with Hawkesbury, Lithgow and Wollondilly councils, as well as state government agencies. The regional group is assisting to plan and develop recovery initiatives for bushfire affected communities that will complement the local council-led bushfire recovery action plan.

A Blue Mountains Bushfire Mayoral Relief Fund has also been established. For more information go to bmcc.nsw.gov.au/MRF.