Australia commits extra A$2 billion for bushfire rebuilding
Around A$500 million of funding would be allotted for the fiscal year that ends in June 2020.
Australia will commit an extra A$2 billion (£1.06 billion) over the next two years to help cover the cost of rebuilding as bushfires ravage the country, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday. Twenty-four people have been killed since the start of this year's wildfire season.
Tens of thousands of homes in both NSW and Victoria states were without power on Sunday as a large-scale military and police effort continued to provide supplies and evacuate thousands of people who have been trapped for days in coastal towns by the fires.
Initial estimates put damaged or destroyed properties in the hundreds, but authorities said the mass evacuations by residents of at-risk areas appear to have prevented major loss of life.
He told a news conference the government would pay "whatever it costs" to recover from the fires, which are likely to run for weeks or months yet.
Around A$500 million of funding would be allotted for the fiscal year that ends in June 2020, with A$1 billion earmarked for 2020/21 and A$500 million for 2021/22.
If further funding was needed, it would be provided, Morrison said.