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Australian PM pledges cash for bushfires homeless

Thursday, January 17, 2013 - 01:18

Jan. 17 - Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard visits the New South Wales town of Coonabarabran and meets firefighters, saying those made homeless by the bushfires will get help . Sarah Sheffer reports.

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Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard meets the firefighters battling the blazes that are sweeping through New South Wales. The fires, stoked by dry, hot weather, have burnt over 100,000 acres and destroyed over 40 homes. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER JULIA GILLARD SAYING: "With a fire that's rightly been described as the perfect storm of fires, for us to be here counting the cost in property damage is bad enough, but we are not counting the cost in lives and that is a tremendous achievement." The New South Wales Rural Fire Service is continuing to build containment lines as 84 fires across the state still burn. Fourteen of them remain uncontained. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER JULIA GILLARD SAYING: "We have already, working with our state government colleagues, triggered some natural disaster relief and recovery payments. These are payments that help people through personal hardship, people who have lost their homes. These are payments that too, help people like primary producers who have suffered losses." The Rural Fire Service has concerns that warm north-westerly winds expected for Friday may push fires back toward residential areas.

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Australian PM pledges cash for bushfires homeless

Thursday, January 17, 2013 - 01:18

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