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Bega Valley Shire CouncilBega Valley Shire Council

Bushfire Recovery Bulletin #06

January 20, 2020

Number of homes lost grows

RFS Building Impact Assessment teams continue the hard, draining working of inspecting properties impacted by the fire, information that is key to landowners as they look to clean up and take the next step.

Assessment on 98% of the impacted area has now been completed:

  • Destroyed - Houses 383, Out Buildings 926
  • Damaged - Houses 103, Out Buildings 243
  • Untouched - Houses 1062, Out Buildings 1466

From the Rural Fire Service

Flights over the Border, Werri Berri and Badja/Mumbulla fire grounds have identified hot spots.

RFS are working hard to try and contain fires, all local fires are at the ADVICE Alert Level and listed as being 'Being Controlled'.

Priority continues to be containment and gathering intelligence on the fire.

Princes Highway update

Getting the highway open again is a priority matched only by the size of the task to clear the road and make it safe again.

That said, a mighty Monday effort from a number of NSW and Victorian agencies has seen the window for reopening shorten.

What was days away is much, much closer.

The road is currently closed at Wonboyn Road, meaning you can only travel as far as Wonboyn Road, but expect that to change soon. More to come.

Keep an eye on Live Traffic NSW for the latest - https://www.livetraffic.com/desktop.html#mapview

Premier and RFS Commissioner visit Bega Valley

Premier Gladys Berejiklian and NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons were warmly welcomed to Cobargo, Quaama, Bemboka and Eden today.

Both had wanted to come sooner, but had been stopped by bushfire conditions.

With Member for Bega Andrew Constance, Mayor Kristy McBain and local RFS boss John Cullen, Ms Berejiklian and Mr Fitzsimmons met with RFS volunteers, recovery workers, and those who have been impacted by recent bushfires.

While in Quaama, the Premier announced $90,000 for a playground upgrade.

Small Business assistance

Small businesses suffering due to bushfires will have access to new grants and low-interest loans to help them and their families get back on their feet.

The Federal Government has today announced grants of up to $50,000, tax-free, and low-interest loans of up to $500,000 to businesses who have lost significant assets or had a major dip in revenue.

More - https://www.pm.gov.au/…/immediate-small-business-support-bu…

Boil water notice

A boil water notice remains in place for Bemboka, Quaama, Cobargo, Bermagui, Beauty Point, Fairhaven, Wallaga Lake, Wallaga Lake Heights, Wallaga Lake Koori Village and Akolele.

Water testing continues daily and is headed in a positive direction. NSW Health and council are hoping for positive news very soon. More to come.

Blazeaid fencing support

BlazeAid is a volunteer organisation that works with communities in rural Australia to help them rebuild after natural disasters. BlazeAid representatives are in the process of setting up a base at Cobargo Showground to help local farmers and property owners rebuild fences and more.  You can contact Dean or Andy from BlazeAid about your needs or to volunteer. Drop into the Showground, phone 0408 080 932 (Dean) or 0459 135 784 (Andy) or email blazeaid.cobargo@gmail.com

Recovery Centre and Outreach Service

You can contact the Recovery Centre on 6499 2345 or email recovery@begavalley.nsw.gov.au

Home base is the Bega Civic Centre, which is open Monday to Friday from 9am – 5pm and weekends from 10am – 4pm, drop in.

A range of services are available for you to meet with face to face, helping one step at a time. A kids space with supervision is also available.

Accessing the mobile service is another option, especially for those living in our more remote areas.

Mobile Recovery Service Timetable:

  • Quaama Hall - Tuesdays from 10.00am – 2.00pm
  • Towamba Hall - Tuesdays from 10.00am – 2.00pm
  • Bemboka Hall - Wednesdays from 10.00am – 2.00pm
  • Wonboyn RFS Shed - Wednesdays from 10.00am – 2.00pm
  • Cobargo Hotel (until further notice) - Thursdays and Saturdays from 10.00am – 2.00pm (updated times 20 Jan)
  • Eden Log Cabin - Thursdays and Saturdays from 10.00am – 2.00pm (updated times 20 Jan)
  • Bermagui Community Centre - Fridays from 10.00am – 2.00pm
  • Wyndham Hall - Fridays from 10.00am – 2.00pm

NSW Government to manage clean up

The NSW Government has today confirmed its coordination arrangements for the the clean-up of NSW residences and businesses impacted by the NSW Bushfires.

This includes both insured and uninsured properties.

Public Works Advisory in consultation with property owners, is leading the clean-up effort with insurers, Council and contractors, to ensure that properties are efficiently and safely cleared.

Testing will be carried out on all properties to ensure communities already impacted by fire are not exposed to contamination, and workers are not exposed to any hazardous materials. Work will begin once firegrounds are declared safe by the Rural Fire Service.

The cost of clearing properties will not be deducted from the funds available under insurance policies.

For owners of business/commercial premises, the government is working through the eligibility criteria and will contact you when the specifics are finalised. If you are insured, you should speak with their insurer.

Register at - https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/…/nsw-bushfire-clean-registe… or call Service NSW on 13 77 88.

Bega Valley disaster relief fund

Over $50,000 has been donated to the fund since New Years Eve.

Council and the Social Justice Advocates of the Sapphire Coast are partners in administering the fund.

A meeting was held this week to further discuss governance and distribution. More to come.

The fund is ongoing and always open for donations:

BSB: 633000
Account: 171166317
IBAN/BIC/Swift number: BENDAU3B for international donations.

All financial donations will be gratefully received.

We continue to be blown away by the level of support coming from across the country for those impacted by the ongoing bushfire emergency - it is just incredible!!!

However, we have now reached a point where that the sheer volume of donated goods is becoming a problem.

The stockpiles are growing rapidly which is presenting new challenges for recovery staff.

The best way people can contribute is to support the Bega Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund.

Want more info?

Bega Valley Shire Council is adding to our online recovery resources daily. Start exploring your needs at - https://www.begavalley.nsw.gov.au/cp_them…/default/page.asp…

PHOTO: Premier Gladys Berejiklian, NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons, Member for Bega Andrew Constance, Bega Valley Mayor Kristy McBain, Bega Valley Councillor Tony Allen, and Manager of Far South Coast RFS John Cullen at Cobargo today with RFS and recovery volunteers.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian, NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons, Member for Bega Andrew Constance, Bega Valley Mayor Kristy McBain, Bega Valley Councillor Tony Allen, and Manager of Far South Coast RFS John Cullen at Cobargo today with RFS and recovery volunteers.

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