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BlazeAid sets up camp in Moruya

Monday 17 February 2020

BlazeAid, a grassroots volunteer organisation helping rebuild fire-ravaged communities one fence post at a time, has set up camp in Eurobodalla.

Mayor Liz Innes welcomed the group this week, stressing the importance of BlazeAid’s work.

“It’s not just about fixing fences, it’s about fixing hearts and fixing lives,” Clr Innes said.

“We are so grateful to have this valuable group of people here - there’s a lot of work to be done!”

BlazeAid has set up camp at Moruya Showground and is keen to hear both from people on rural properties needing help and volunteers wanting to help them.

Coordinator Lydia Ronnenkamp said she expected the camp to operate for several months.

“BlazeAid does fencing but it’s more than that. It’s caring for people, it’s working beside farmers on the ground and having those important conversations.

“We give people a hand up, not a hand out.”

Ms Ronnenkamp said the Moruya camp would open from 6.30am to 3pm each day.

“Property-owners can register online, give us a call or, better still, visit the showground in person,” she said.

“We are all locals and we are all volunteers. If there is anyone out there who would like to help, we need people with fencing skills, people to help in the kitchen, people who can do admin – volunteers can do as much or as little as they are able.”

The Moruya camp will hold up to 130 BlazeAiders but Ms Ronnenkamp expected many more locals would lend a hand. She said fencing work for rural properties across the shire would be prioritised on a needs basis.

“Properties with road boundaries or are income-producing will be our priority,” she said.

BlazeAid purchases supplies and fencing equipment locally, supporting small independent businesses.

Ms Ronnenkamp said Eurobodalla Council was quick to welcome BlazeAid to the shire.

“I rang director of infrastructure Warren Sharpe two weeks ago and Council came straight down. They couldn’t have been more welcoming,” she said.

Rural property owners wanting to register for fencing assistance or people wishing to volunteer can visit the Moruya Showground or contact BlazeAid on 0435 585 988, email blazeaid.moruya@gmail.com or find BlazeAid Moruya on Facebook. Landholders who have already registered with Eurobodalla Council will be contacted by Blaze Aid.

To donate to BlazeAid’s local work visit the showground camp, or to help people affected by bushfire across the country visit the BlazeAid donations page