Bit by bit rebuilding begins

THE effort of rebuilding the fire-ravaged areas of Tasmania has already begun.

Aurora Energy has deployed 100 field workers and 30 contractors to start replacing 600 poles, wires and transformers destroyed on the Tasman Peninsula.

Aurora   chief operations officer Andraacé Botha said they were making good progress on restoring power, despite working in smoky and dangerous conditions.

Acting Premier Bryan Green yesterday committed to rebuilding the towns that have been hit, but warned that the process would take some time.

``We will do everything we can do, bearing in mind it will take a long time for the rebuilding to occur,'' Mr Green said.

``It appears that Dunalley has been the most affected and as soon as we can we will be there to reassure those people that we will rebuild this community. It's an important part of Tasmania and there is no reason why we can't bring Dunalley back to the way it was.''

Opposition Leader Will Hodgman has pledged bipartisan support for the recovery.

An insurance taskforce has been set up to speed up the claim process. 

Teams of insurers began arriving yesterday and, as soon as they have access, will examine the damage.

The Insurance Council of Australia's Karl Sullivan said that  based on other disasters, it could take up to two years to rebuild houses that had been destroyed.

An emergency cabinet meeting will be held this morning to decide what other action will be taken.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard will   arrive in Tasmania today to survey the bushfire devastation.

Ms Gillard is expected to arrive in Hobart at 11am.

She is due to be briefed by the Tasmania Fire Service at its Southern region headquarters at Cambridge.

The Prime Minister may also visit the Police Academy at Rokeby and, depending on the conditions, visit Dunalley, which is one of the hardest-hit areas.

Meanwhile, Premier Lara Giddings is also due to arrive back in the state today, after her private holiday overseas was cut short by the disaster.


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