Minister Ian Hunter, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation has issued the following statement relating to a fire that destroyed the Fregon Community Store on the APY Lands earlier today.

“State, Commonwealth and non-government agencies have met today to initiate a range of actions to respond to last night’s fire at the Community Store in Fregon.

The store was completely destroyed as a result of the fire, which caused an estimated $2 million damage. Police have launched an investigation.

The actions underway include:
• the store site will be secured through the erection of a temporary fence

• contractors will be organised to isolate the store’s electricity supply, and ensure other essential services are not affected

• extra State Government staff will be sent to Fregon to assist the community, and to identify any community members in need of assistance

• a refrigerated, self-powered unit will be leased and will be transported to Fregon

• short-term transport will be arranged for Fregon residents to travel to the Pukatja store; extra drivers with bus licences are being arranged

• an electrician will check the diesel bowser at Fregon’s service station

• NPY Women’s Council is providing emergency relief funds to Fregon families

• 120 food hampers from Food Bank will sent to Fregon tomorrow, as well as baby formula and nappies

• a community meeting will be held on Sunday for Fregon residents to discuss future requirements; an interpreter will attend the meeting.

Food will be provided for children through Fregon’s youth shed until further notice, and a sausage sizzle will be held tonight to ensure children have access to a meal today. Basic meals will also be provided for the children throughout the weekend.

Basic meals will also be provided throughout the weekend for Home and Community Care (HACC) clients and people deemed to be vulnerable by State Government staff.

AnglicareSA has provided more than 100 Christmas presents and gifts to replace those lost in the fire.”