Bushfire Recovery Shoalhaven

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This page aims to support our community through the recovery phase of the impacts from the recent bushfires and to prepare us for the next emergency/bushfire season.

If you have been affected, there is a range of assistance for you. Council is working in partnership with emergency services, State and Federal government agencies, charities and others to deliver this assistance.

For detailed information about the assistance available refer to the Frequently Asked Questions and Important Links on this webpage.

You can call Council's 4429 5888 helpline dedicated to bushfire recovery assistance, during business hours.

Recovery services can also be accessed

This page aims to support our community through the recovery phase of the impacts from the recent bushfires and to prepare us for the next emergency/bushfire season.

If you have been affected, there is a range of assistance for you. Council is working in partnership with emergency services, State and Federal government agencies, charities and others to deliver this assistance.

For detailed information about the assistance available refer to the Frequently Asked Questions and Important Links on this webpage.

You can call Council's 4429 5888 helpline dedicated to bushfire recovery assistance, during business hours.

Recovery services can also be accessed through Service NSW on 13 77 88 from 7am to 7pm every day or online at www.service.nsw.gov.au for locations of Service NSW, and Mobile Service Centres. If you'd prefer, you can contact an agency directly.

Clean up: Register now
Insured and uninsured residential and eligible commercial property owners must register at www.service.nsw.gov.au or call 13 77 88 to be included in the government-supported clean up program.

Updated 14 September 2020

  • Recovery into Readiness Webinar Two Recording

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    26 August, 2020


  • Recovery into Readiness Webinar One Recording

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    26 August, 2020


  • Be Prepared Kit

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    Items to take, or things to do before a fire is near your house or business:

    Back up the following items on to the cloud, send an email to yourself, copy to a USB hard drive:

    . treasured photos
    . birth certificates
    . house insurance photos – always have a photo of what your house once looked like and the contents inside of your house and keep sake items
    . rates notices – get your rates notice sent via email – that way you can access details online
    . birth certificates
    . legal wills
    . house titles / deeds
    . Identification
    . Service NSW / My Gov account – keep everything up in the cloud
    . phone numbers – have phone numbers in a book / or in an email / when phone loses charge you can at least find a phone number of a relative
    . passwords in a book or on your phone

    Mobile Phones

    . powerbank or car charger

    Fuel

    . extra fuel for generators
    . those residents that went to Milton to get fuel, milk, bread on the Saturday morning could not get back to their properties as police blocks were already in place

    Is your wife, mother, girlfriend, partner prepared?

    . Many ‘’men’’ left on new years eve to get fuel, alcohol, NYE food and got stuck in town – many partners fought the fires by themselves and were trapped with elderly parents by themselves as well

    Pool Noodle

    . many stories were told to me about elderly people being sent to the water, not being able to swim – a pool noodle tucked under an arm would’ve assisted

    Dog & cat / animal leash

    . lots of animals survived, but then the owners had nothing to tie them up with
    . many animals got away and attacked wild life

    Bottle water & tin food

    . a storage of 24 bottles of water – no water available for a long time / no food available – spare water essential

    P2 / smoke masks

    . purchase a mask now – not at Christmas!!

    Animal / Human Identification

    . write your name / mobile number / address on a horse / cattle / child / elderly neighbour that you have to let out of a fence when a fire approaches

    Proper clothing

    . long sleeve shirt / pants
    . hat / cap
    . socks and shoes (not thongs)

    Buckets of water around property

    . have water ready around property in plastic tubs – don’t fill up tubs on the day of the fire

    Medication / Scripts / Reading Glasses / spare Car keys

    For more information visit the Emergency NSW Emergency Kits web page.

  • Council's Integrated Emergency Management Centre

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    27 August, 2020

    Interested in Council’s Integrated Emergency Management Centre? Watch this video created in December 2019.

  • FREE Mental Health Courses

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    21 August, 2020
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    Australian Red Cross in partnership, with COORDINARE, are offering FREE mental health courses to people living in the SE NSW region.

    About the mental health matters webinar

    The 90 minute training is delivered by a Red Cross qualified and experienced Mental Health Matters trainer.

    The courses will address topics such as:

    • Definitions of mental health and mental illness
    • Mental health in Australian communities
    • Resilience and self-care
    • Recovery
    • Impact of unsupported mental illness
    • Dealing with crisis situations
    • Understanding the role of support
    • Where to find assistance information and resources

    Upcoming Webinars:

    1 September 10:00 - 11:30am

    8 September 10:00 - 11:30am

    11 September 2:00 - 3:30pm

    17 September 10:00 - 11:30am

    28 September 2:00 - 3:30pm

    15 October 10:00 - 11:30am

    For more information, and to register, visit the Red Cross website or contact Samira Farmakis, by email sfarmakis@redcross.org.au or call 0427 300 105.

  • Recovery into Readiness Virtual Community Meetings

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    13 August, 2020
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    Recovery into Readiness Community meetings are being held to protect and prepare Shoalhaven communities for the next emergency/fire season.

    The virtual City-wide meetings are open to all residents and ratepayers in which the panel will address the matters relevant and of importance for the Community to consider and prepare in readiness for the next emergency/fire season.

    The panel will be made up of emergency management experts, including representatives from the Rural Fire Service, NSW Police and Shoalhaven City.

    The virtual meetings, on Wednesday 26 August 2020, at three time slots during the day with the aim to maximise viewing and community participation City-wide.

    To access the Recovery into Readiness Community meetings please follow the instructions below.

    Webinar Session Links

    1pm - Webinar

    4pm - Webinar

    7pm - Shoalhaven City Council Facebook page

    Please submit your questions through the 'Webinar Questions' tab on the Bushfire Recovery web page, if possible, prior to each session.

    Each meeting will be recorded and published on this Bushfire Recovery Get Involved web page.

    Webinar Access Instructions

    Using a mobile device or tablet

    Step 1. Download/Install the Microsoft Teams App from the App Store.

    Step 2. Select sign up for free.

    Step 3. Enter your email address and select next.

    Step 4. Select 'For friends and Family' (under how do you want to use teams) and click next.

    Step 5. Select Go to Skype and download/install Skype.

    Step 6. Click on the link to the Webinar your like to attend.

    Step 7. When prompted join as a guest and type in your name.

    You are now ready to watch the webinar

    Using a computer

    Step 1. Click on the link to the Webinar you'd like to attend.

    Step 2. When prompted click on ‘Watch on the web instead

    Step 3. Select Join anonymously

    You are now ready to watch the webinar.

  • Red Cross Community Forum Invitation - Disaster Memorials and Anniversaries

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    25 August, 2020
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    Please join Australian Red Cross Disaster Recovery Advisors and Mentors Australia as they host Shona Whitton for a virtual community forum to talk to the community about disaster memorials and anniversaries.

    When: Sept 2, 2020 04:00 PM Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney

    Please register online via the link below for the community forum:

    https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcoceutqD8qG9xpoprEHcPt6TbZCP0yGGOs

    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

    Shona Whitton is the National Coordinator, Recovery and Psychosocial Support at Australian Red Cross. Shona is responsible for the coordination and development of Red Cross’ domestic disaster recovery and psychosocial programs. Prior to returning to Red Cross, Shona worked as a consultant specialising in post disaster recovery, psychosocial support and community resilience, including working as a Field Recovery Specialist with the NSW State Government. Shona has a background with Red Cross where she worked on developing Red Cross’ approach to disaster recovery programs and psychosocial interventions.

    In 2015, Shona was awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship to explore approaches to temporary and permanent disaster memorialising in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany and Norway. Shona has since provided technical advice to local and state governments and community organisations in relation to collective memorialising and psychosocial support at temporary memorials following a number of collective trauma events. Shona holds a Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology), a Masters in Community Development (Emergency Management), a Graduate Certificate in Gender Mainstreaming Policy & Analysis and an International Diploma in Humanitarian Assistance.

  • Lifeline South Coast - Gatekeeper Training

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    21 August, 2020
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    21 August 2020

    Lifeline South Coast has been funded to deliver a range of training programs across bushfire impacted communities in the South Coast throughout the 2020/21 year. Training programs include:

    • Accidental Counsellor – 19 Sessions (full-day program)

    A full-day program which will provide participants with the necessary skills and tools to be able to step into the shoes of an Accidental Counsellor momentarily. Participants will learn to respond appropriately, efficient and effectively to people in crisis or distress. Focusing on the importance of communication, this workshop provides participants with the fundamental skills in organisational, community and individual resilience.

    • QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) – 23 Sessions (2-3 hour program)

    Just as people trained in CPR help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognise the warning signs of suicide crisis and how to question, persuade and refer someone to help. QPR training provides participants with the knowledge and skills to identify warning signs that someone may be suicidal, confidence to talk to them about suicidal thoughts, tolls to connect them with professional care.

    • DV-Aware – 16 sessions (2-3 hour program)

    DV-Aware is designed to raise public awareness around the issue of domestic and family violence. Participants will gain a basic understanding of issues, tools to guide in recognising the signs of domestic and family violence, providing the foundations to assess what you can do as an individual or group to prevent domestic and family violence.

    • Psychological First Aid (PFA) – 8 sessions (2-3 hour program)

    PFA workshops aim to provide basic skills for helping people affected by disaster. Participants will learn how to provide human social support to people impacted by disaster or critical event and aid community recovery. An important aim of PFA is to build people’s capacity to recover. PFA supports recovery by helping people to identify their immediate needs and their strengths and abilities to meet those needs.

    Training can be delivered either face-to-face or in a virtual environment. To find out what and when the training programs are being run visit the Training Calendar on the Life Line South Coast website. The calendar will be regularly updated to include new sessions.

    If you are aware of particular training needs in communities please let Life Line South Coast know so they can use this to inform training program delivery.

    Lifeline south Coast are also looking to continue our engagement with local communities and organisations, and support community events with the aim of promoting community recovery. If there are events you think may benefit from Life Line South Coast's involvement please reach out, they are happy to support organising and participating in the events.

    For more information visit the Life Line South Coast website or contact Monique Ferguson, Community Training and Engagement Manager by email Monique.ferguson@llsc.org.au or call m. 0427 193 959 or (02) 4228 1311.

    Life Line South Coast would like to acknowledge our funding partners CBA, The Minderoo Foundation and Uniting Church/Target Bushfire Relief Appeal.

  • Building Bridges Through Shoalhaven Bushfire Recovery Effort

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    19 August, 2020
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    19 August 2020

    A reinforced concrete bridge across School Creek, Budgong will soon be complete, just seven months after the fires that burnt 80 percent of the Shoalhaven, including five bridges.

    Shoalhaven City Council Mayor, Amanda Findley said “The School Creek bridge has been constructed relatively quickly with a crane lifting into place factory-made bridge decks, prepared in Newcastle, ready for the final concrete pour.”

    "All that remained of the bridge after it was destroyed by fire, on January 4, were the concrete piers," said Clr Findley.

    "Understandably local residents have found the lack of a bridge difficult, especially following the trauma of the fires. Without a bridge, the journey to Nowra or Kangaroo Valley could take an hour by car. Thankfully a landowner has generously allowed some local vehicles under a temporary 2 tonne culvert crossing via private property, but that has been dry weather dependent," she said.

    "Council has worked as quickly as possible to rebuild infrastructure damaged by the fires with more fire resilient replacements which has taken time to secure funding, finalise tenders and arrange contracts. It is heartening to see Budgong residents can now enjoy a high-quality concrete bridge, a replacement for the previous aged timber bridge," said Clr Findley.

    Shoalhaven Council was the first local government authority to place an order for the InQuik bridge at School Creek and Toomboolomobah in the Shoalhaven area, and as a result have led the way for other municipalities to use this type of fast track installation. InQuik has now been commissioned to install over 20 bridges as a result of the Currowan fire.

    "It is also pleasing that all businesses and workers involved in the reconstruction, earthworks and cranage are local and/or regional NSW-based businesses. Contractor Inquik's internationally patented Bridging System has enabled the bridge to be built quickly and providing an enduring permanent solution at a competitive cost to temporary bridging solutions thanks to the innovative semi-modular construction method," said Clr Findley.

    The replacement of the bridge over School Creek on Bugong Road is the last of the five destroyed bridges in the Shoalhaven to be replaced as a result of the Currowan fire, and just one the significant achievements of Council and its Recovery Committee.

  • Vinnies Funding Local Organisations to Help Communities Rebuild and Recover

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    18 August, 2020
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    Saint Vincent de Paul are offering one-off grants, of up to $20,000, to local organisations in bushfire-affected areas to help their communities to rebuild and recover.

    Registered community groups and local organisations are eligible for the funding to support projects that have a community-wide impact

    Please apply by 23 August 2020 be considered in Stage 1 of the Vinnies NSW Community Bushfire Grant Program.

    If you aren’t able to get your application ready in time, don’t worry – Stage 2 applications will be opened up after Stage 1 closes.

    For more information , including how to apply please visit the St Vincent de Paul Bushfire Grants web page.