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Byron Shire
April 21, 2021

Repeal tax cuts and support fire hit communities

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Jeremiah O’Toole, Mullumbimby

I believe that the Federal government should make available, immediately, $12 billion to be allocated as follows:

1) $2b to immediately properly equip rural and regional fire brigades and to fully compensate the volunteers at the same rate of pay as paid to full time fire fighters over and above any current measures in place (OACM).

2) $2b be immediately available to purchase and lease a large number of fire fighting helicopters or fire fighting planes – OACM.

3) $2b be immediately available to compensate for individual losses of homes, assets, farm buildings and assets, and livestock.

4) $2b be available to achieve environmentally sustainable fire management outcomes and to minimise the extensive losses that are happening with the current fires. This is to be done in conjunction with National Parks management, the fire services, our Aboriginal Elders, and others who have wisdom to give us in the area of forest management etc. To include, where possible, fireproofing homes and buildings in risk areas.

5) $2b be available as a contingency fund to top the above measures.

6) $2b spent on replacing infrastructure destroyed by the fires and boosting the communities in which the fires took place.

How to fund the above? Repeal the five per cent company tax cuts. No fair dinkum Aussie company would complain about helping out their fellow Australians in their time of need. Also, put on hold further tax cuts as promised in 2019, to help fund these measures.

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