Local people impacted by the 2019-20 bushfires have had many challenges to contend with over the last year, but many are facing a new threat - the end of their free rental period.
Federal Member for Gilmore, Fiona Phillips, said many people have faced delays in getting back into their homes such as the lengthy government-funded clean up process and difficulties posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
While many insurance policies only include 12 months of temporary accommodation if you lose your home, the Gilmore MP said she had been working closely with the insurance companies on a case-by-case basis to help those impacted by bushfire secure extensions on this provision.
Mrs Phillips recently met with Conjola Park resident Christine Webb to hear firsthand the difference this extension has made to her and her husband Adam.
Christine and Adam sadly lost their home on New Years' Eve.
They were devastated at the prospect of paying for rent on top of their mortgage from January.
Christine and Adam didn't receive their clearance certificate from Laing O'Rourke until July, holding up the rebuild of their home.
With building plans submitted to council in September last year, it will be at least April before their home is ready.
Thankfully, following representations from Mrs Phillips, their insurer has now granted an extension on their free rental period until June 2021.
"When you have lost your home in such devastating circumstances, the last thing you need is to be worried about paying for rent as well as a mortgage," Mrs Phillips said.
"I want to sincerely thank the insurance companies for coming to the party for Christine and Adam, and so many other local families impacted by the terrible bushfires we experienced," she said.
Mrs Phillips has encouraged anyone facing the end of their free rental period after losing their home in the bushfires to contact her office for help.
"I don't want to see anyone lose the roof over their head unnecessarily.
"If you or someone you know needs help, please contact my office on 4423 1782," she added.