An Adelaide Hills family who lost everything in this summer’s devastating bushfire season say they are grateful to receive a new, temporary “housing pod” this week so they can live on their Harrogate property while they rebuild.
A new $2.4 million partnership between the Marshall Liberal Government and Minderoo Foundation is providing 48 temporary housing pods to South Australians affected by the Adelaide Hills and KI fires, and supporting local jobs and businesses.
Local manufacturing business Australian Portable Camps is using locally-sourced materials and labour to build the recovery pods.
The Marshall Liberal Government has committed an additional $450,000 to support local economic recovery by engaging tradespeople in both regions to transport, install and maintain the recovery pods.
Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink said the Marshall Liberal Government continues to stand shoulder to shoulder with the state’s bushfire affected communities.
“The Marshall Liberal Government is doing everything in its power to support our regional communities with the bushfire recovery process – and that includes providing temporary accommodation to allow bushfire-affected South Australians the option to stay on their land while they rebuild after such heartbreak,” said Minister Lensink.
“This $2.4 million Marshall Liberal Government and Minderoo Foundation joint partnership is welcome news for the many South Australians who tragically lost everything this summer and it’s really welcome news for local jobs and our economy.”
Minister Lensink said the new recovery pods were ready to live in when they arrive on site, and can house individuals, couples or families of up to four.
“The Marshall Liberal Government also committed an additional $450,000, which is going directly into the pockets of both Kangaroo Island and Adelaide Hills tradespeople, who are supporting getting the recovery pods ready and delivered to our regional communities,” said Minister Lensink.
Minderoo Foundation CEO Andrew Hagger said the Foundation was humbled to have played a role in rebuilding South Australian communities devasted by bushfire.
“When our Fire Fund team visited Kangaroo Island and Cudlee Creek shortly after the fires, people on the ground told us their number one priority was to be able to stay on their land while they rebuilt. This message drove the innovative thinking that led us to the design of the Minderoo recovery pods,” said Mr Hagger.
“One of the great things about the Minderoo recovery pods is that once a family has been able to rebuild their home, the recovery pod can be redeployed to another family to assist with recovery.
“Minderoo Foundation exists to help Australians in their time of need. Our promise to the people of South Australia is that we are here for the long haul. This rebuild and recovery will take years, not months, and we will not leave until the job is done.
“We will never ever give up on the South Australian community.”
Adelaide hills mum-of-three Gemma Seebohm said she and her husband, Andrew, were overwhelmed by support from the community after their property in Harrogate was burnt to the ground on December 20, 2019.
She said the addition of the new recovery pod would enable her family to have space again. “We love Harrogate, we’ve got open space and the kids love it – the bushfire won’t beat us, Harrogate is our home” said Mrs Seebohm.
Of the 48 pods, in total, 40 pods will be located on KI and eight in the Adelaide Hills, the majority of which are now delivered.
The 7.2m x 2.4m insulated pods are fully self-contained with beds, toilets, showers, washing machines and cooking facilities. The pods are being provided for an initial 12 months, with the potential for longer agreements to be negotiated.
The recovery pods are not designed for long-term accommodation, they are intended to provide a solution in rural settings where alternative accommodation near the property is not available.