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CALLS FOR BARILARO TO INTERVENE ON FIRE DAMAGED FENCE REPLACEMENT COSTS

December 19, 2019

The NSW Labor Opposition has called on the Deputy Premier John Barilaro to direct Forestry Corporation to contribute to the costs of replacing fence lines damaged by fire on land it shares with private landholders.
 
Media reports have highlighted the case of Wendy Pannach, whose cattle farm in Rappville, near Casino, was destroyed in a ferocious blaze in October. The widow with six children has been pleading with Forestry Corp to help cover the cost of replacing a boundary fence they share. But the state-owned business is exempt under legislation from making any financial contribution towards fence costs.
 
Labor Shadow Minister for Natural Resources Paul Scully described Mrs Pannach’s situation as heartbreaking and urged the Deputy Premier to do something. 
 
“John Barilaro claims to be standing up for the country but his actions send a very different message. He has made a mess of water policy and failed to save Essential Energy jobs”
 
“This is Mr Barilaro’s chance to step-up and use his Ministerial authority to prove he is here for regional NSW.”
 
Mr Scully has this week written to Mr Barilaro asking him direct Forestry Corporation to contribute to half share costs for replacing fence lines on property shared with private landholders.
 
“There would be many other similar cases across NSW and the fire crisis is far from over,” Mr Scully said.
 
“Forestry Corporation is doing a great job helping to fight and contain fires but it should be a good neighbour and offer a helping hand to private landholders it shares a boundary with during the current fire crisis.”
 
Mr Scully has also written to the Chief Executive Officer of Forestry Corporation, Nick Roberts, advocating for him to resolve Mrs Pannach’s case in good faith and help in other similar cases by waiving its legislative exemption.
 
“If Forestry Corporation can’t waive its legislative exemption voluntarily, the Deputy Premier should exercise his ministerial authority to direct Forestry Corporation to do so immediately”, he said.
 
The NSW Liberals and Nationals Government is currently conducting a scoping study to sell off Forestry Corporation for an estimated $1 billion.

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