The demountables will be operated by shop owners whose businesses burnt down. (ABC News: Adriane Reardon)
Business owners in a town ravaged by the New Year’s Eve bushfires are rejoicing after nearly a dozen demountable buildings were trucked in.
- Almost 500 homes were lost in Eurobodalla Shire Council since the start of the bushfire season
- About 79 per cent of the shire was destroyed by bushfires
- Mogo is dependent on tourism after the lull following the summer holidays
Hundreds of homes, businesses and outbuildings in Mogo, on the NSW South Coast, were flattened by the Clyde Mountain fire nearly seven weeks ago.
The coastal town’s economy is highly dependent on tourism because of the quiet months between the end of the summer holidays and Easter.
In an attempt to keep the town afloat, the Business Council of Australia has funded the creation of a pop-up mall in the centre of town by trucking in 10 demountable buildings.
Averill Berryman breathed a sigh of relief after the demountable buildings arrived. (ABC News: Adriane Reardon)
Averill Berryman, whose real estate agency was destroyed, will be running one of those pop-up shops.
“It’s been a really depressing atmosphere and then these guys came up with this idea and it just changed everything,” she said.
“It’s so good for my heart. It’s a lift for the soul really.”
Lorena Granados, who watched her shop of 17 years burn down on New Year’s Eve, said the demountable meant her business could keep going.
She said she’s found the process of receiving financial support from the government and trying to resume work difficult and time-consuming.
“It’s taken nearly two months for the government to approve that we are actually unemployed and we should qualify for unemployment benefits,” she said.
“We vote these leaders in because we want them to be proactive and come to our rescue when we need them.”
Member for Bega Andrew Constance, a senior NSW Liberal who has criticised Prime Minister Scott Morrison for his bushfire response, said the financial support wasn’t being managed correctly.
“I think there’s a very real disconnect between Canberra and what’s happening an hour-and-three quarters drive away,” he said.
“We’re seeing too many casual jobs going and people ending up on Newstart because we’re not seeing the Government at a national level direct the support properly.”
Burnt remains of Ms Granados’s Roman Leathergoods store in Mogo after the NYE bushfire. (Supplied: Lorena Granados)
Almost 500 homes were destroyed in Eurobodalla Shire Council, where Mogo is located, since the start of the bushfire season, while 271,000 hectares — or 79 per cent of the Shire — was burned.
“Our community is still shattered,” Mayor Liz Innes said.
“We’d really like to keep pushing for the Federal Government to have a look at more ways where they can help our small businesses because they are the key to our recovery.”
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