Australia fires live: NSW and Victoria bushfires insurance bill tops $700m – as it happened

By Graham Readfearn (now) and Amy Remeikis (earlier)

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Wrapping up for Tuesday

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Two men missing in NSW found alive, police say

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The Victorian Aboriginal heritage council is calling for consideration of traditional owners’ perspectives and relationship to country “when the smoke clears”.

Rodney Carter, chairperson, said:

As Victoria’s first peoples we will stand together with all Victorians in this time of great trauma – trauma to our country, trauma to our people and trauma to our culture. Before Victoria, this place was our peoples’ country and had been for many thousands of years. It is still our peoples’ country, it is our mother and it can nurture us, but today we grieve for all those who have been harmed whilst sharing her with us.

Our people manage our culture and our heritage, not just for the benefit of our own mob but for all people who call this place home. We want all people, all families, all animals and all country to be safe but, in this state of disaster, it cannot be guaranteed.

Our ancestors, though all the struggles they faced living their life ways, were masters of living and loving our land. Through looking to our ancestors, we will lead our truest life. As best we can be leaders in our own mobs, to the advantage of our people, we should bring calmness and guidance in this time of disaster.

We ask you, the broad, diverse, distressed Victorian community to work with traditional owners. Together we can understand the devastating effects of climate change and implement Country management strategies that will help heal our fire and drought ravaged land.

There’s more about traditional burning practices in this article from two bushfire experts at the University of Tasmania.

There is a new fundraising effort to support south coast Aboriginal families who have lost their homes.

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Josie Harvey (@JosieHarvey_)

I spoke with ecologists at the University of Sydney and WWF Australia, who now estimate that the number of animals killed by the fires exceeds a billion. Several species may face extinction. https://t.co/vehJ0ClbII

January 7, 2020

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