Staffing at the National Bushfire Recovery Agency is uncapped as the federal government ramps up its response to the bushfire disaster that has engulfed large swathes of the country.
The agency, which has been set up by Prime Minister Scott Morrison within his own department, is still taking shape despite already beginning operations.
A Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet spokesperson said the agency's structure was being modeled on the North Queensland Livestock Industry Recovery taskforce and the Joint Agency Drought Taskforce, and would oversee the distribution of the National Bushfire Recovery Fund, which is initially $2 billion.
Former Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin has been appointed to head the new agency and has flagged his intention to "get out to as many places as I can" to discuss the impact of the fires with affected communities and individuals.
Mr Morrison has indicated the government is prepared to increase the recovery fund "as needed", and Mr Colvin said the Prime Minister had told him on a number of occasions that the final amount would be whatever it takes.
"We're not going to be silly about that but whatever it takes means whatever it takes," the former AFP commissioner said.
The scale of the recovery task is expected to be monumental.
The New South Wales Rural Fire Service has so far confirmed that 1079 homes have been destroyed in the state since January 1, taking the toll for this bushfire season to almost 2000 houses. Insurers have already received 5850 bushfire-related claims worth an estimated $375 million, and the damage bill is expected to climb rapidly.
The PM&C spokesperson said staff for the bushfire recovery agency would, in the first instance, be drawn from across the Australian Public Service, and further positions would be advertised as operations build.
The agency's leader said he would begin visiting fire-affected communities this week.
"Of course, not all areas are ready for us to visit and I don't want to get in the way of the efforts that are already going on at state and local government levels, the bushfire effort as well, the firefighting effort," Mr Colvin said on ABC Radio.
"My plan is to get out...and start to visit and over the coming weeks I want to get out to as many places as I can. But I have to balance that with making sure that I've got in place here in Canberra the right systems and practices to get money out quickly."
Mr Colvin said he wanted the process to be "locally driven and locally delivered".
"There is no point importing expertise or trade or technical skills when we've got it on the ground with people who need an opportunity to restart their lives. So, wherever possible, this money will flow to the local community, local tradespeople, local shops, local contractors," he said.
It is understood that final decisions on staffing will not be made until detailed damage assessments are made, a process that could take weeks.
In addition to directing the agency, Mr Colvin will also chair a meeting of all 14 department secretaries "to bring forward the initiatives, whether it's in agriculture, tourism, environmental restoration, immediate support needs, the defence force, of course, each and every day out there providing support that's needed in communities", the Prime Minister said.