The Federal and South Australian Government will provide more support to South Australian communities devastated by bushfires, as they look to rebuild and recover.

Primary producers and small businesses on Kangaroo Island and in the Adelaide Hills can now access grants to help them get back on their feet.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said assistance is being provided under the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

PRIME MINISTER: Good afternoon everyone. I want to provide a general overview of the situation as we understand it today and the status of operations of particularly our ADF forces, as well as outlining some of the key decisions that were made today at Cabinet and the National Security Committee.

The Federal Government will establish a new agency with an initial $2 billion for a national bushfire recovery fund to coordinate a national response to rebuild communities and livelihoods after the devastating fire-front has passed.

The Prime Minister said the National Bushfire Recovery Agency would be funded with an initial $2 billion to ensure the families, farmers and business owners hit by these unprecedented bushfires would get the support they needed as they recover.

PRIME MINISTER: Of course, it's wonderful have the Premier Gladys Berejiklian with me here, of course, Commissioner Fitzsimmons and Major General Ellwood, who's taken on the two star role, which is overseeing all of the ADF's operations right across the country with the various joint task forces, they are reporting up through to him.

PRIME MINISTER: … While the weather conditions have improved as you would have heard, as reported from New South Wales and Victoria, there are still many fires that are raging and there's a very significant firefighting effort which is continuing.

LUKE GRANT: Good afternoon PM

PRIME MINISTER: Gday Luke, and mate thanks for the work you guys are doing today. It's a very difficult day, particularly all around the state, but a lot of the other areas you've just been talking about as well. So, you know, thanks for helping people today and all your listeners.

GRANT: Good on you. It's amazing, isn't it, to think, PM, that they say Penrith is the hottest place on earth right now?

SANDY ALOISI:  …to fight the bushfires that are gripping large parts of the country, with 3000 Australian Defence Force Reservists to be deployed and the federal government to invest a further $20 million to lease four additional firefighting aircraft. Scott Morrison has also announced the Navy's largest amphibious ship, HMAS Adelaide, will sail from Sydney this afternoon to sit off the coast should it be required to help with evacuations. And the Prime Minister joins us live now. Mr Morrison, good afternoon to you, thank you for your time.

Our country is facing devastating and widespread national bushfires.

They have been burning throughout the country for months now but today is shaping up as our most challenging day, with a state of emergency declared in NSW and Victoria while Tasmania and South Australia also face significant threats.

We are well prepared, well organised and well resourced, but we are also realistic: These fire conditions are unprecedented, and the challenge is formidable. If fierce conditions prevail, today could be a dark day for our country.


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