Recovery Into Resilience Project (RRP)

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Shoalhaven City Council has initiated the Recovery Into Resilience Project (RRP) following the devastating impacts of the 2019/20 bushfire season.

The project will benefit the community by helping residents and visitors get better prepared for emergencies, be more resilient and have better access to accurate, timely and authoritative information in times of crisis.

During the 2019/20 bushfires, many communities within the Shoalhaven lost access to power and communications, leaving them unable to connect with emergency services. As so many of our residents know, communication is a vital factor in keeping the community informed and safe from harm in an

Shoalhaven City Council has initiated the Recovery Into Resilience Project (RRP) following the devastating impacts of the 2019/20 bushfire season.

The project will benefit the community by helping residents and visitors get better prepared for emergencies, be more resilient and have better access to accurate, timely and authoritative information in times of crisis.

During the 2019/20 bushfires, many communities within the Shoalhaven lost access to power and communications, leaving them unable to connect with emergency services. As so many of our residents know, communication is a vital factor in keeping the community informed and safe from harm in an emergency.

From this experience, Council has identified an opportunity to provide reliable and authoritative information from the Shoalhaven Integrated Emergency Management Centre (IEMC) to isolated communities to improve public safety during future emergencies.

Shoalhaven City Council thanks the NSW Government and Commonwealth Government for collectively contributing $2 million toward this project.

Want to follow this project? Subscribe for project updates via the "Stay Informed" function on this page.

Project Overview

The Recovery Into Resilience Project (RRP) will provide a coordinated approach to improving the resilience of the Shoalhaven Community, via three programs which involve short and long-term approaches, as detailed below.

Community-led Resilience Planning

Council is looking to empower a diverse group of community members from our region to create a community-led Resilience Plan. Council has engaged Griffith University to work with residents on this component of the RRP, which is an important step in strengthening recovery systems in advance of a disaster.

The framework for this work was developed through an earlier case study involving the Sussex Inlet community and will now be expanded to the whole of the Shoalhaven.

The Resilience Planning component will involve a series of community workshops that will address potential future scenarios and brainstorm adaptive ways to plan for the future.

Find out more about Community-led Resilience Planning and how you can Get Involved.

Community Readiness

The Community Readiness component of the RRP comprises short-term actions to enhance the availability of emergency planning information. Council will engage directly with communities to provide education on emergency preparedness and enhance the community’s understanding of emergency messaging.

The Community Readiness program will also complement work currently underway to improve tourist and visitor safety and emergency preparedness.

A program to engage the community in the activation of the Local Information Hubs will also form part of the Community Readiness activity stream.

Local Information Hubs

Council understands that our community needs to receive authoritative and trusted communication during emergencies to make the right decisions to stay safe. The RRP will deliver critical infrastructure so that in future disasters, if power and communications are lost, as they were during the 2019/20 bushfires, community members can access important emergency information via their Local Information Hub.

Council will install communications and energy technology at 19 Council-owned halls and community centres across the Shoalhaven. In the event of an emergency, these sites will become Local Information Hubs, displaying emergency information for the community. Additionally, four Holiday Haven holiday parks will have information "dashboards" installed (ie. the screen only - no independent power or communications technology).

The information “dashboards” will be similar to a large television monitor and will display authoritative information directly from the Emergency Operation Centre (EOC). The dashboard will be linked to the EOC via satellite internet connection and powered via backup power from solar panels and batteries. This will ensure the Hubs are not reliant on mobile phone towers or the power grid.

The project will make use of commercially available technology fitted and installed by local providers.

View the list of sites to receive the technology upgrade.

Get Involved

There will be a number of opportunities for community members to get involved in this project. The News Feed on this page will be updated as the project develops. If you would like to be notified when opportunities or updates are available, then please subscribe via the "Stay Informed" function on this page.

  • Invitation to Webinar – An appetite for action: Resilience Survey Results

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    Shoalhaven City Council in partnership with Griffith University invites you to attend a one-hour webinar on Tuesday 23 November 2021 at 2.00pm. The purpose of the webinar is to share the results from an online community survey that was undertaken by a research team from Griffith University between July and September 2021, as part of the Community-led Resilience Planning component of the Recovery Into Resilience Project (RRP).

    Webinar - An appetite for action: Resilience Survey Results
    Presenters: Prof Darryl Low Choy and Ms Pazit Taygfeld from Griffith University
    Time and date: 2.00pm, Tuesday 23 November 2021
    Duration: 1 hour
    Location: Online via Microsoft Teams *

    The survey was conducted during lockdown when face-to-face engagement was not possible, as a way to start gathering information to help inform the development of a community-led adaptation and resilience strategy for the Shoalhaven.

    The survey engaged 390 community members. Respondents answered questions about their experience with extreme weather events, and about the strengths and weaknesses of the Shoalhaven in withstanding and recovering from these events. Some interesting themes emerged that will be useful to those involved in the preparation of this Strategy.

    The webinar will outline the survey objectives, present the results, and discuss how the findings may contribute to the future development of the long-term adaptation and resilience strategy for the Shoalhaven. Questions will be taken by the research team and Council’s representative after the presentation. We hope to see you there!

    *You don't need to register to attend the Webinar. Simply join the Webinar via the above link prior to the start time using a smart device (computer, tablet or phone with internet connection). You will be able to view the presentation and interact via a chat function (Q&A). Your device’s camera and microphone will not be utilised during the webinar.

  • RRP Project Update

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    Open article to see images of the screen install

    There is a lot of activity currently happening within the Recovery into Resilience Project (RRP).

    The level of community involvement with the Project has been really encouraging and positive, notwithstanding the disruption of face-to-face meetings and engagements due to COVID-19 restrictions.

    Community-led Resilience Planning

    The survey to help inform the development of a community-led adaptation and resilience strategy for the Shoalhaven received 390 responses. Our partners at Griffith University have analysed the results and will be presenting the findings to the community soon via online webinars. This research provides an excellent foundation of data for the working group to consider in the workshops - which we hope will be able to commence soon.

    We have also received 38 survey responses from young people which is encouraging. The youth version of the survey will remain open until NSW schools reopen, to allow for further engagement of young people in the development of the strategy.

    Community Readiness

    Community Readiness activities have also continued apace. Online workshops are currently being held with Management Committees and Community Consultative Bodies (CCBs) of the facilities being upgraded with the RRP infrastructure. Activities to engage each local community will be announced soon, pending the easing of COVID restrictions.

    Additionally, the Tourism Operators’ Guide is almost ready for proof printing and testing.

    Local Information Hubs

    The Callala Bay pilot site for the communications and power upgrade is now complete. The solar/battery energy solution for essential hall services is commissioned and operating well.

    At this site, thanks to direct community representative involvement, advice and preferences, the double-sided information screen solution was installed, and is currently being tested with indicative test pages. The satellite connection is live and running, and the Callala Bay Community Hall information screen is displaying a test page for the coming days while testing of the installation continues in readiness for further installations. The Voice over IP satellite phone connection is in and provides all connections available over conventional internet This is an exciting milestone for the project!

    Supporting Local Businesses and Trades

    Tenders have been evaluated and we are pleased to announce that successful local companies have been selected and contracted for the power and energy installations, as well as the information screen cabinets.

    This fulfills the Project’s aim to make use of commercially available technology fitted and installed by local providers.

    Site Visits Conducted

    Community support and engagement at all facilities and sites visited has been very welcome and most helpful.

    Site visits and surveys have been conducted across the City, including the facilities and halls at:

    • Kangaroo Valley
    • Berry Showground
    • Shoalhaven Heads
    • Shoalhaven Indoor Sports Centre
    • Nowra Showground
    • Greenwell Point
    • Culburra Beach
    • Callala Bay
    • Callala Beach
    • Huskisson
    • Erowal Bay
    • Sussex Inlet
    • Cudmirrah/Berrara
    • Manyana
    • Lake Conjola
    • Milton
    • Ulladulla
    • Burrill Lake
    • Kioloa/Bawley Point.

    Unsurprisingly, no two sites are the same and one size does not fit all - which is why local knowledge and community preference is so important in determining what is fitted and where to best suit each site.

    Fitted Information Screen - Callala Bay Community Centre Pilot Site

    Live Screen with Satellite connection up and running displaying real-time NSW Government COVID information as a test, 8 October 2021

    Internal live screen - Callala Bay Community Centre Pilot Site

    Communications Rack, Satellite Modem, and VOIP Phone- Callala Bay Community Centre Pilot Site

    Battery Room and Power Board (including new external generator connection point for essential hall services) - Callala Bay Community Centre Pilot Site

    Satellite Comms link screenshot 14 September - Callala Bay Community Centre Pilot Site



    Satellite Receiver Dish - Callala Bay Community Centre Pilot Site



    Solar panel installation - Callala Bay Community Centre Pilot Site

    RRP Team working closely with the community


  • Survey Closes Soon - Last Chance to Participate

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    Thank you to everyone who has completed the Resilience Planning adult or youth survey.

    If you haven't had a chance, don't worry - there's still time! The adult survey will remain open until Friday, 24 September 2021. Complete the survey now!

    The survey for high school aged young people will remain open a little longer. Complete the youth survey now!

    These surveys will help inform the development of a community-led adaptation and resilience strategy for the Shoalhaven. Learn more about this component of the Recovery Into Resilience Project (RRP) on the Community-led Resilience Planning project page.

    If you would like to participate in either survey but are unable to access a computer or get online, phone the Recovery Helpline on (02) 4429 5888 between Monday and Friday 9am-5pm and you will be assisted to complete the survey over the phone.

  • Webinar Recording Now Available

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    This live webinar took place on 10 September 2021. The webinar outlines the Recovery Into Resilience Project and the infrastructure being installed at 19 Council-owned community facilities. These facilities will become Local Information Hubs and will provide the community with timely, authoritative and accurate information during emergencies.

    The Webinar included a Q&A session - all of the questions and answers have been added to the project's FAQs.

  • Resilience Planning Update - Covid Impact on Workshops, Survey and New Webinar Announced

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    A new project update is available regarding the Community-led Resilience Planning component of the RRP.

    The commencement of the workshops continues to be postponed due to COVID-19, but in the meantime, the project team aims to deliver some valuable activities.

    A webinar series is being planned to present the analysis of the adult survey and youth survey, which will remain open for a while longer for those who still wish to participate. The webinars will include some informative presentations relevant to adaptation and resilience issues to underpin the workshops’ commencement.

    Read the full update on the Community-led Resilience Planning Get Involved page.

  • Online Survey to Help Improve Our Community's Resilience to Disasters

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    Your experiences of natural disasters and ideas about being prepared are valuable. You are invited to take part in an online survey to help inform the development of a community-led adaptation and resilience strategy for the Shoalhaven.

    The strategy will help improve our community’s ability to respond to and recover from future disasters. It will be developed by a working group, consisting of community members and Council staff, through a series of workshops facilitated by experts from Griffith University.

    The valuable input you provide through the survey will be shared anonymously with the working group and will enable it to consider the diverse views, needs and aspirations of the Shoalhaven community.

    Complete the Community Survey

    Complete the Youth Survey - designed for young people

    Please note you will be redirected to Survey Monkey to take the surveys.

    Alternatively, if you would like to participate in the survey but are unable to access a computer or get online, please call the Recovery Helpline on (02) 4429 5888 between Monday and Friday 9am-5pm and you will be assisted to complete the survey over the phone.

    Learn more about the Community-led Resilience Planning project and Council’s broader Recovery Into Resilience Project (RRP) on Council’s Get Involved website.

  • Further Opportunity to Join Resilience Planning Working Group

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    Due to the unfortunate postponement of the first RRP Resilience Planning Workshop due to Covid-19, Shoalhaven City Council has extended the opportunity for interested community members to join the project's Working Group.

    The Group will meet over 8-10 months (final time frame to be confirmed with participants) to develop a whole of Shoalhaven Community-led Resilience Plan.

    The development of a Community-led Resilience Plan provides community members with a unique opportunity to influence decision making through participation in a planning process, facilitated by experts from Griffith University and supported by Shoalhaven City Council and Resilience NSW.

    Community-led planning takes an alternative approach to the traditional model of government led action, and it encourages communities to empower themselves to address issues that affect their quality of life. It is well suited to issues that are complex, potentially controversial and require strong community support and involvement, such as responding to the growing threat from severe weather events.

    Working Group Activities

    Participation in the Working Group requires no prior experience or knowledge of planning. However, participants will be asked to commit to attending a minimum of 8 workshops over the duration of 6-8 months and to engaging with the Griffith University facilitation team when the need arises. A small amount of reading and commenting on workshop outputs may also be required throughout the duration of the project.

    Participants will be involved in identifying ways to enhance the Shoalhaven’s capacity to respond to current and future challenges, including increased incidents and severity of extreme weather events along with climate change. Participants will also be given a platform to actively contribute to the development of a shared vision for the future of the region, as well as the identification and testing of a range of plans, policies and strategies that will be needed to support the delivery of that vision.

    The workshops will consist of a series of activities that will guide the development of the Resilience Plan, including:

    • Undertaking a SWOT analysis (identification of the regions strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats)
    • Development of a future vision for the Shoalhaven region
    • Testing of existing plans and policies against two different future scenarios
    • Identification and testing of existing and new preferred policies and strategies
    • The development of a “road map” that will assist the Shoalhaven achieve its vision whilst enhancing its resilience to deal with unpredictable events.

    Community Sub-plans and Complimentary Plans

    Additional workshops will be provided to support individual communities who seek to complement the city-wide plan with local community sub-plans that account for individual community needs and aspirations.

    Workshop Facilitation

    All workshops will be facilitated by Darryl Low Choy, who is a Professor of Environmental and Landscape Planning at Griffith University. Prof Low Choy and his research team have worked extensively with communities in Australia and abroad to help establish community-led planning responses to natural hazards, land management and peri-urban development issues. For the past four years they have worked in Shoalhaven City with Council and a number of local communities.

    To express your interest in joining the Working Group, please email council@shoalhaven.nsw.gov.au providing your name, phone number and the town/suburb in which you reside.

  • Minister Announces $2 Million of Funding for RRP

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    Shoalhaven City Council's Recovery Into Resilience Project has received $2 million of funding from the NSW and Commonwealth Governments to help prepare the region for future emergencies.

    Shoalhaven City Council Mayor Amanda Findley joined Minister for Local Government and Member for South Coast Shelley Hancock at the Shoalhaven Emergency Operations Centre in Nowra for the funding announcement.

    The event was also attended by Councillors John Wells, Patricia White and Kaye Gartner, along with representatives from NSW Police, SES, RFS and Fire and Rescue.

    Council acknowledges the funding support from the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund and the assistance from the NSW and Commonwealth Governments to make the project possible.

Page last updated: 05 November 2021, 09:07