Residents who lost their homes in the bushfires will receive money from the Blue Mountains Bushfire Mayoral Relief Fund from next week (starting January 27).
The fund's advisory committee elected on January 23 to direct the $28,500 raised so far directly to those most seriously affected this bushfire season.
Those who have lost homes will each receive $1500, as well the owners of two homes that suffered severe damage.
Blue Mountains mayor Mark Greenhill urged the community to continue to give to the fund, so donations could continue to directly benefit Blue Mountains' residents.
"I know a lot of people are exhausted. This bushfire season has gone on for so long, and there are so many places you can donate, so why is the mayoral relief fund different? Because it's local.
"That means money raised is guaranteed to go to local Blue Mountains' residents who have been directly affected by the recent bushfires.
"It also has zero administration costs. The intention is for the dollars donated to benefit those people in our community, who need it most," he said.
"$28,500 is a good start, but we need more to go to our residents who have been affected by these bushfires."
The Blue Mountains Bushfire Mayoral Relief Fund launched in December. This is the first stage of action from the committee that includes:
- The Hon Phil Koberberg AO AFSM BEM - First Commissioner of the Rural Fire Service (RFS) and former NSW Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Water
- Joan Domicelj AM - Principal consultant on the original nomination for the Greater Blue Mountains Area (GBMA) World Heritage listing
- The Hon Bob Debus AM - Former NSW Minister for Environment and Minister for Emergency Services
- Kerry Bartlett MP - Former Member of Parliament for Macquarie
- Mary Waterford AM - Blue Mountains advocate for equity, human rights and dignity, and
- Dr Rosemary Dillon - Blue Mountains City Council Chief Executive Officer.
"The committee decided, and I completely agree, that it's more important to get that money where it's needed now. It's no use to anyone sitting in the fund's account," said the mayor.
"The more money the fund receives, the more money we can distribute. So now is the time to donate, so we can continue to give to those in need."
In addition to administering the mayoral relief fund, council is preparing a series of social wellbeing, environmental and waste, local economic and infrastructure initiatives, to help the community recover after bush fires.
Nineteen homes were lost in the Blue Mountains this bushfire season, and more than 70 were damaged.
"We've spent time with these families and communities since before Christmas and what I can tell you is they are strong, and resolved to rebuild," said the mayor.
Tax deductible donations can be made via: PayPal (via the button on council's website), internet banking, phoning or visiting council, and at any National Bank branch. For full details, and to pay vial the PayPal button, visit: bmcc.nsw.gov.au/MRF