Andrew Broad reports to Tony Abbott on Wimmera fires

MEMBER for Mallee Andrew Broad will report to Prime Minister Tony Abbott on this month's fires.

Horsham and Northern Grampians chief executives and mayors showed Mr Broad around fire-affected areas of their municipalities yesterday.

Mr Broad spoke with owners of fire-affected properties about their experiences.

Included among them were Horsham Mayor David Grimble and Brimpaen farmer Luke Dunn.

"The Prime Minister has asked for a full report on the fire situation," Mr Broad said.

"While we have written reports, and I was in the region last Saturday, we wanted to come once the smoke had settled.

"There is always some uncertainty around the level of damage straight after a fire scene."

He said it was obvious mobile phone coverage had been completely inadequate.

"There has been a lot of procrastination for a very long time around mobile phone coverage," he said.

Mr Broad said he was determined to do something about it.

"I'm not just going to turn up here, sit with people who have been burnt out and couldn't even make a phone call and tell them, 'Yeah, yeah, I'll do whatever I can' and not do it," he said.

"The Federal Government is committed to doing something and now we have some capacity to highlight this area as one that needs money."

Mr Broad would also highlight the potential impact on tourism and the importance of clean-up grants.

"Under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements, state governments apply for funding to the Federal Government if they believe a disaster is of a scale that needs their assistance," Mr Broad said.

"I want to be able to provide feedback to the PM's office about the scale of the fires, and to fast-track any applications that might come from the State Government if they choose to do so."

He said he would present the report as soon as he could.

"The Prime Minister rang me about the fires on Saturday last week," Mr Broad said.

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