Premier Colin Barnett to Visit South West Bushfire Victims

PREMIER Colin Barnett has answered a bushfire victim’s call that he visit the site of this week’s devastating South West bushfires.

The destruction from the three-day-old emergency has destroyed nearly 100 buildings and 53,000 hectares after lightning strikes near Waroona, 100km south of Perth.

More: Bushfire emergency declared in the Shire of Waroona.

More: Almost 100 homes lost in Yarloop.

More: Southbound festival cancelled due to safety fears.

“I will be going down, but the fire is still being fought, and I will go down in a couple of days to look at the fire myself,” Mr Barnett told the Western Suburbs Weekly in Cottesloe this morning.

Acting premier Kim Hames, who leads the Government while Mr Barnett is on leave, has attended the disaster area with Fire and Emergency Services Minister Joe Francis.

Mr Barnett said his visit could be as early as tomorrow, after the bushfire destroyed about 95 homes on the small South West dairy town of Yarloop overnight.

“Where is our Premier Colin Barnett in this sad situation?” a Yarloop resident wrote in the Waroona Fire Facebook page.

“I haven’t heard or seen anything from him.”

More: Waroona residents flee for their lives again.

More: Southbound organisers and promoters put aside disappointment to focus on fire efforts.

It was also reported that fire fighters battling the Yarloop fires had run out of scheme water.

Mr Barnett said he was unaware claims of a lack of water, but there would be a review that follows any large fire.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews toured bushfire destruction near Wye River settlement, west of Melbourne, three days after that State’s disaster at Christmas.

Mr Barnett defended his Government’s response to the South West fire.

“The acting premier (Kim Hames) has already gone down there, and they are still fighting the fire, you can’t get into Yarloop,” he said.

Victims would be able to get State and Federal governments’ assistance for property and personal property that has been lost.