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Man says village has been 'forgotten about' following black summer bushfires

Man says village has been 'forgotten about' following black summer bushfires
A large inferno from the Green Wattle Creek bushfire hit the village of Balmoral just days before Christmas in 2019.
The fire destroyed bushland and some homes across the 426-person community in the NSW Southern Highlands.
READ ALSO:Almost half of $100 million in bushfire funds spent on lifesaving equipment
Mick Duggan's home was threatened on December 21 until firefighters saved it. (Supplied)
More than a year later, one resident who had two close calls with the fire said he felt like the village had been "forgotten" in the middle of recovery.
Mick Duggan's home was threatened on December 21 until firefighters saved it. 
Hours later, Mr Duggan was sheltered in a shed with several others as a fire circled. 
Thankfully, firefighters hosed the shed to protect them, as a water-bombing helicopter assisted from above.
READ ALSO:'It's heartbreaking still': Bushfire survivors reflect one year on from the Black Summer crisis
This was one of many survival stories, as crews were pushed to their limits as the fire tore through 278,722 hectares in the Southern Highlands and near Wombeyan Caves.
Mick Duggan said Balmoral Village in the NSW Southern Highlands needed more assistance. (Supplied)
The bushfire claimed the lives of two firefighters, Andrew O'Dwyer and Geoffrey Keaton, when their truck rolled off the road in nearby Buxton on December 19.
As weeks went by, visitors rolled into the village and donations overwhelmed volunteers. But Mr Duggan felt like some of the attention was fleeting.
"We've had people out here in their ties and their suits, getting their photo opportunity and their faces on the TV," he said.
"Outside of that, nothing happens."
READ ALSO:Fire truck engulfed in flames during Green Wattle Creek fire
Mr Duggan said he has had no official offers of assistance, although his mother has received a council grant.
He has covered the majority of the costs for the clean-up work done on his property so far.
The recovery process in the village is underway, as bushland regenerates and some demountable homes appear.
However, some feel the process is slow and there is more work to do.
READ ALSO:Before and after: One year since horrific Black Summer bushfires
Mick Duggan's home was threatened on December 21 until firefighters saved it. (Supplied)
Mick Duggan said Balmoral village needed more assistance during the recovery phase.
"I'm not saying I want someone to walk in my driveway with a fistful of $100 notes," he said.
"I need someone to say to me 'you copped it pretty badly and this is the website you need to go to'.
"I'm just asking for assistance and that's all anyone in this community is asking for."
As the coronavirus pandemic started to dominate the headlines, the focus shifted away from bushfire survivors.
"We're not [on] the front page anymore so we're not gossip anymore. We're forgotten about."
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