PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 6026


Photo of Fraser, Malcolm

Fraser, Malcolm

Period of Service: 11/11/1975 to 11/03/1983

More information about Fraser, Malcolm on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 16/02/1983

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 6026

PRIME MINISTER 16 February 1983
I have this afternoon spoken to the South Australian
Government about the disastrous fires which broke out
in that State today.
I want to make It clear that the Commonwealth stands ready,
to assist the South Australian Government and the people of
South Australia who ate suffering grievously as a result of
the present bushfires.
Already some 120 Defence Force personnel from Army Woodside
and RAAF Edinburgh are deployed fighting the fires. Additional
Army personnel at Keswick are being recalled to assist.
If there are any additional Defence facilities needed,
we stand ready to assist forthwith within the limits of
Defence capacity.
The Commonwealth will supplement immediately on a dollar
for dollar basis measures designed for the immediate relief
of personal hardship and distress in accordance with the
Natural Disaster Relief Arrangements.
It will also, in accordance with the arrangements, provide
assistance on a $ 3 Commonwealth/$ I State basis above the
agreed base figure for expenditure on restoration of
gubli c assets and emergency protection and repair work
y State, Local and Semi-Government authorities and a
range of assistance measures for primary producers affected
by the fires.
I have told the South Australian Government that if there
are particular circumstances in relation to this fire,
and particular proposals that the State would want to
put forward to assist in recovery from this very serious
disaster, then we would stand ready to examine the position
as a matter of urgency. This is the practice-we have adopted
in all States in these circumstances.
I have asked Ian Wilson to consult personally with the South
Australian authorities and to give me an immediate and personal
assessment of the damage.
I extend my very real sympathy to the families of those
who have died, to those who have been injured and who have
suffered grave and serious loss. I also extend my good wishes
to those who are battling this disaster.

Transcript 6026