NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian (left) and RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons (right) address the NSW public in a press conference at the Rural Fire Service headquarters in Sydney at the height of the black summer fires. AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian (left) and RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons (right) address the NSW public in a press conference at the Rural Fire Service headquarters in Sydney at the height of the black summer fires. AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi

Premier visits fire-ravaged communities in the Clarence

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has paid a visit to fire-ravaged communities in the Clarence Valley for the first time since the fires killed four people and destroyed at least 125 homes.

Ms Berejiklian touched down at Rappville Sports Ground at 8.30am this morning to acknowledge the efforts of the Richmond Valley community impacted by the black summer bushfires.

The destruction from the Busbys Flat fire which destroyed about 30 homes at Rappville on October 8, 2019 was the first of its scale of the black summer bushfires, tripling the NSW tally to 44 according to Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott at the time.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons during a press conference at the Rural Fire Service headquarters in Sydney at the height of the black summer bushfire crisis. AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons during a press conference at the Rural Fire Service headquarters in Sydney at the height of the black summer bushfire crisis. AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi

The incident prompted Ms Berejiklian’s to hold one of the first or many regular press conferences alongside NSW RFS personnel to show the people of NSW she understood the severity of the season ahead and the need for the community to be well informed.

“It’s only early October and unfortunately I’m here at (RFS) headquarters for the second time this season,” she said the day after the Rappville disaster.

“I think it’s a symbol of what we’re likely to face in the next few months and beyond.”

Ms Berejiklian visited Rappville on October 14 last year. However, she is yet to set foot in the Clarence Valley since the Liberation Trail fire destroyed 85 homes at Nymboida on the night of Friday, November 8, 2019.

Later today Ms Berejiklian is expected to visit Nymboida Community Hall to again acknowledge the efforts of the Clarence Valley community impacted by the black summer bushfires.

At both events she is presenting awards to individuals for their work during the bushfire crisis and announcing small community recovery grants.

She is being hosted by the Nationals Member for Clarence, Chris Gulaptis.