Up to $1 million in lottery grants money allocated to Tasman fire relief fund

Up to $1 million from the Lottery Grants Board has been allocated to the relief fund for the Tasman fire, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today.

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The remaining cordons in the valley areas have now been lifted, and affected families can breathe a sigh of relief. Source: 1 NEWS

Ms Martin, the Presiding Member of the Lottery Grants Board and also the Minister responsible for Fire and Emergency, was struck by the scale of the disaster after visiting the region earlier this month.

"What struck me was the scale of the devastation and the huge perimeter and earthworks required to try and contain it," she said.

"The Fire and Emergency Tasman-Marlborough Area Commander Grant Haywood said to me that he felt the organisation had a moral responsibility to help landowners who had been affected by the creation of the fire breaks.

"I agreed with him. Obviously stopping the fire was the priority at the time, but that doesn’t mean that landowners should have to bear all of this damage and cost."

"What brought this position into even more perspective was seeing the damage done to a farm owned by one of the volunteer firefighters involved in battling the blaze.”

Ms Martin said the board responded positively and quickly to her request for support and the money will be made available through the Lottery Minister’s Discretionary Fund.

The funding will be available for community benefit purposes that could include repairing damaged land from cutting of the fire breaks, repairs to community facilities and support to community organisations.

"The Government knows that more assistance may be required and will continue to talk to the community and look at options for assistance,” the Minister said.

"Our thoughts continue to be with the community as they work to recover from the devastating event."