If Coonabarabran residents affected by the Wambelong Fire think they are being fobbed off by the NSW State Government, there would be no reason to blame them. With no response to the recommendations for the long delayed inquiry one has to wonder what Kevin Humphries, the National Party Member for Barwon is doing to ensure his constituents are treated fairly and compensation is paid. While Humphries announced in December extra funding for the RFS within the Barwon electorate there’s been no news about a Wambelong Fire payout.
The facts of the fire point directly at the fire originating in the Warrumbungle National Park, that planned hazard reduction had not been done in the area the fire eventually went, and that totally inadequate warning was given so that residents could prepare their properties for fire (a point the NPWS denied in the Coronial Inquiry).
Three years later local farmers are looking to leave the area, with Stephen Lill owner of Chadwick Downs actively promoting his farm for sale in China looking for overseas buyers. This lack of regard from the NSW government means that for some the prospect of being able to “move on” has been denied to them, increasing their grief and anger at a fire they say could have been avoided.