News bulletin: bushfire recovery

Published on 18 November 2019

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This page last updated: Monday 18 November 1.50pm 

Continuing bushfire support and assistance

If you have been impacted by the fires, please visit midcoast.nsw.gov.au/bushfirerecovery for helpful information, and a guide on how to receive the help you need.
You can stay updated on Council’s website at www.midcoast.nsw.gov.au, or follow us on Facebook.
For further fire information, visit www.rfs.nsw.gov.au or download the Fires Near Me app on your phone, so you receive notifications.

Disaster Welfare assistance

A disaster welfare assistance point will be operating in Taree from later today to support those impacted by recent bushfires. The centre is being established by the NSW Government’s Office of Emergency Management.

The Office of Emergency Management has advised the disaster welfare assistance point will operate as a base but will also be mobile to allow contact with some of the more remote impacted communities.

This assistance point will support those impacted by the fires by providing access to a range of Government and non-Government services including Disaster Welfare Services, the  Red Cross, chaplains, representatives of the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program and Rural Fire Service staff.

The assistance point is designed to provide information on Government and non-Government services in one location and will help speed up the administration of government processes and services, while supporting individuals and communities impacted by disasters.

The disaster welfare assistance point will be supported by MidCoast Council.

It is expected the Office of Emergency Management will provide information on the location and contact details for the disaster welfare assistance point by the end of the day.

Information to help support recovery after a bushfire is also available on MidCoast Council’s website at  www.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/bushfirerecovery

Community Conversations

Representatives from NSW Police, the Rural Fire Service and the Office of Emergency Management will attend this week’s scheduled Community Conversation meetings, at the Blackhead Surf Life Saving Club at 6pm on Tuesday and the Wingham Services Club at 6pm on Wednesday.

MidCoast Council has expanded the agenda at the meetings to include the emergency services.

“These meetings have been scheduled for some time, however given the recent fires we have invited a range of other agencies to attend to help support the community,” General Manager Adrian Panuccio explained.

The meetings will provide the community an opportunity to ask questions of the emergency services present and an opportunity to discuss recovery efforts following the fires. Following this, the second half of the meeting will be an opportunity to talk to Council about other issues in each location.

It is expected the Office of Emergency Management will facilitate similar meetings will be held in the in fire impacted areas such as Bobin/Elands, Killabakh, Krambach, Tinonee,  Upper Lansdowne, Mount George,  Old Bar and Nabiac as well as other locations as required.

Water refill points for rural residents

One of the emergency recovery team’s first priorities has been to take water, generators and other essential items to isolated communities which have been hit hard by the fires.

Over the weekend four temporary emergency water fill points have been installed for properties affected by the fires.

The supply points are located at

  • 408 Bulga Rd Wingham 
  • 1 Coglan Ave Wingham
  • 62 Mill St Krambach
  • 79 Beecher St Tinonee
  • 1 Dibb Street Nabiac

Residents in rural areas affected by fire can use these points to fill portable containers for essential domestic use.

Bulk water deliveries to refill water tanks on properties need to be separately arranged with a suitable water carting contractor.

If you are a rural producer or landholder and have been impacted by fires, please visit midcoast.nsw.gov.au/bushfirerecovery for information to help you and your family, and special fodder assistance available for animals. To access fodder assistance and other help, please call 1800 814 647.

Waste Collections catching up

Normal waste collections have almost resumed, with collections made across the region late last week including Saturday.

There are still some areas in Hillville and Marlee that haven’t had their rubbish collected. This will happen as soon as possible, once roads are deemed safe for the garbage trucks.

Skip bins have been organised for a number of community halls in impacted areas.

There are also a number of homes in the region in need of new garbage bins following the fire. If you need a new bin you can let Council know via the website https://www.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/Environment/Bins-and-Waste or call 1300 290 763.

The Taree Waste Management Centre on the Bucketts Way Tinonee is closed. The Tuncurry Waste Management Centre on Midge Orchid Road is open as usual for the use of residents.

Community support

MidCoast Council is thanking the service groups and newly formed groups continue to work tirelessly across the region to support individuals, families and communities impacted by the fires.

The work of all these groups and individuals is a testament to the spirit of our community, according to MidCoast Mayor David West.

“There have been people hard at work from day one, doing all they can to support both our emergency services and our community,”  Cr West said.

“There were a number of volunteers at the evacuation centres last week and now the focus is moving to supporting those communities who have been devastated by these terrible fires.

“We are seeing generosity that is unprecedented in our area.”

Both the Taree Lions and Rotary Clubs are operating bushfire appeals, with thousands of dollars already donated to the cause. Members of the community who wish to support the recovery are reminded that cash donations are best.

A number of other groups have started such as the Manning Valley Emergency Support by Local Volunteers group and others who are working hard to support the community.

A number of other charities, such as BlazeAid, who come into communities to support the rebuilding of fences to keep stock secure, are also ready to set up in the MidCoast and this will be supported through the disaster welfare assistance point to be established by the Office of Emergency Management in Taree during the course of today.

Information to help support recovery after a bushfire is also available on MidCoast Council’s website at  www.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/bushfirerecovery

Water Restrictions

Very High water restrictions are in force across the MidCoast region, with Council asking everyone across the MidCoast to ensure they are complying with mandatory restrictions. The weather forecasts and predictions of water usage indicate that Council will need to tighten restrictions very soon.
Very High restrictions restricts any outside water use for 10 minutes only every second day, before 9am or after 4pm. Sprinklers and irrigation systems are banned. If your house number is an even number, water on the even days of the month; for houses with odd numbers, water on the odd days of the month, and there's no watering at all on the 31st day of any month. For more information visit Council’s website.
More information: midcoast.nsw.gov.au/News-Media/Be-ready-for-tougher-restrictions

Don’t delay making your Bushfire Plan

The NSW Rural Fire Service says a bush fire survival plan is something you need to make well before a fire - leaving it until the last minute is dangerous.More information: www.rfs.nsw.gov.au

Thank you

MidCoast Council thanks the community who have responded to official emergency messages and have risen to the challenges posed by the last few days.
More information: midcoast.nsw.gov.au/News-Media/Supporting-our-community