Australia commits extra A$2 billion for bushfire rebuilding

FILE PHOTO: A burning gum tree is felled to stop it from falling on a car in Corbago, as bushfires continue in New South Wales, Australia January 5, 2020. REUTERS/Tracey Nearmy

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia will commit an extra A$2 billion ($1.39 billion) over the next two years to help cover the cost of rebuilding as bushfires ravage the country, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday.

He told a news conference the government would pay “whatever it costs” to recover from the fires, which are likely to run for weeks or months yet.

Around A$500 million of funding would be allotted for the fiscal year that ends in June 2020, with A$1 billion earmarked for 2020/21 and A$500 million for 2021/22.

If further funding was needed, it would be provided, Morrison said.

Reporting by Wayne Cole; Editing by Clarence Fernandez