Bushfire recovery update
Monday 20 January 2020
Eurobodalla Recovery Centre
Eurobodalla’s Recovery Centre is now open to support everyone in our community impacted by the fires.
The recovery centre is an official NSW Government Disaster Welfare Assistance Point. Professional staff who understand the emergency will be on hand to help, providing a one-stop shop for recovery information, services for the community, and to expedite government processes.
No appointment is necessary. If you need transport to get to the centre, please call Council’s Community Transport on 4474 1040.
NEW: Over the Australia Day long weekend – Saturday 25 to Monday 27 January – the centre will open between 10am to 4pm.
- Eurobodalla Recovery Centre
Batemans Bay Soldiers Club
Beach Road, Batemans Bay (parking from Flora Crescent)
Monday-Friday 9am-5pm, weekends 10am-4pm
NEW: OOSH Batemans Bay
In an incident unrelated to the bushfires, our Out Of School Hours facility at Batemans Bay burnt down on Christmas night. OOSH supervisor Melinda ‘Mouse’ Macauley says the group of about two-dozen kids have relocated to Mackay Park and are making the most of their unusual circumstances.
“We’re based in the Mackay Park function centre – bar closed, of course! We don’t have a lot in the way of resources but have received some lovely donations, so we’re making good use of what we’ve got. We are getting out and about with plenty of excursions, walking in to town to make use of great local services – Love The Bay!” says Mouse.
The kids are not alone at Mackay Park, they’re bunked alongside the army, who are helping out recovery efforts across the shire.
“It’s not normal of course,” says Mouse, “but the kids are making a real holiday out of it.”
NEW: Business and tourism
Senior Council staff - Director of Planning Lindsay Usher, Manager of Planning Liz Rankin and Business Development Manager Sarah Cooper - met with the shire’s five business chambers and other business owners last Tuesday to get their take on the current pressures on business and tourism, and where best to focus attention for the next six months.
The next day Lindsay and Liz were joined by Council’s Tourism Manager Tim Booth in discussions with Destination NSW and then meeting on Friday 17 Jan with representatives of the Department of Premiere and Cabinet and local traders to discuss the immediate pressure on business.
It’s great to see the community campaigns coming from within our region, as well as those supporting businesses and community.
Council will be meeting with Destination NSW again tomorrow, developing the regional approach to tourism, and we’ll continue to follow up with chambers and businesses to ensure our key markets continue to visit the shire.
It’s literally been a baptism of fire for our new Manager Tourism and Events Tim Booth. He can be contacted on email@example.com or 4474 1309.
Fires within the Surf Beach Waste Management Facility reignited over the weekend; fire within the waste burns underground, requiring the waste to be dug out, extinguished, re-compacted and covered. The liner of the new tip area is also badly damaged. This has significantly reduced the capacity at Surf Beach, although waste, green waste and recycling will still be accepted.
Limited internet and phone service means no EFTPOS – cash or existing account customers only. Standard tip fees apply.
The significant fire impact means we need to concentrate on maintaining normal waste services before we can address fire-related waste. Obviously this had led to frustration within the community. We are working with the NSW Government on a plan for the large volumes of waste requiring disposal in the broader clean-up (see below) and we are also working to be able to accommodate domestic quantities of burnt garden waste (excluding trees) and small domestic loads of fire-related waste at no or minimal cost.
We will announce this when we have capacity to offer the additional service. Please remember our waste facility staff our members of our community and have a job to do – please treat them with the same respect you would like to be shown.
NOTE: Tips in Shoalhaven and Bega Valley were not affected by fire.
In the meantime, we encourage you to sort your waste so recyclable materials like steel and cardboard can be segregated at waste management facilities – this will decrease the amount you have to pay.
Brou tip is open seven days per week, and Moruya will stay open seven days until the end of this week. Council’s three-bin kerbside collection is running as normal.
Residents with burnt bins can contact Council for replacement on 4474 1024 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Demolition waste and clean-up costs
The NSW Government is covering the cost of clean-up of NSW residences and businesses impacted by bushfires. This includes both insured and uninsured properties. For those insured, this means you won’t have the cost of clean-up deducted from your insurance funds.
Fire-affected building demolition waste will not be accepted in kerbside bins or at waste management facilities. This is due to the lack of space and risk of contamination to facilities. Council is working with NSW and Australian governments to find a solution that allows fire-impacted building waste to be removed as quickly as possible.
To ensure you are eligible for clean-up cost recovery, register at Service NSW or visit the Recovery Centre at Batemans Bay Soldiers Club or Council’s administration office in Moruya.
Residents are understandably keen to return to and clean-up bushfire affected properties, please understand the risks and required actions.
- Do not enter a fire affected property until it has been assessed as safe and only if you are the property owner. Building Impact Assessments are well underway throughout the Eurobodalla.
- Initial inspections identify houses, facilities and outbuildings that are destroyed, damaged and those untouched in fire-affected areas, including any potential hazards.
- Further assessments are now being undertaken to confirm hazards. A Hazard Identification Notice displayed at a property lets you know potential hazards have been identified. If the ‘suspected asbestos’ box has been ticked, do not enter the property and contact Public Works Advisory on 1800 885 539 to receive the results of the asbestos testing.
NEW: Fires and fish kill
The NSW Department of Primary Industries have information about the impact of bushfire on native fish population, and encourage the reporting of fish kills.
- All Eurobodalla drinking water is and has been fine to drink straight from the tap.
- Visit the NSW Health website for information to help you manage your tank water following the bushfires.
- Level 3 water restrictions are in place in Eurobodalla.
Essential Energy continue to rebuild Eurobodalla’s electricity grid, and are in touch with still affected residents. For more information, contact Essential Energy:
- T: 13 20 80
- W: www.essentialenergy.com.au
- All Eurobodalla beaches are open, except Surf Beach at Batemans Bay and North Broulee due to poor water quality following the bushfires.
- The following beaches will be patrolled daily from Saturday 17 January: Narooma Surf Beach, Dalmeny, Tuross Head, Moruya South Head Beach, Moruya North Beach (near breakwall), Broulee South Beach, Malua Bay.
- If waterways are discoloured and murky, it is recommended you avoid swimming.
Roads and travel
- Please drive carefully as we are seeing more stock on Eurobodalla’s roads with the loss of fencing. And be careful of wildlife on the road verges too.
- Emergency services are asking people in the Eurobodalla to avoid fire-affected residential areas to respect the privacy of those who have lost homes.
- Please observe roadblocks. They are in place for your safety.
Fire affected land managers – stock and infrastructure assistance
- The NSW Government’s Agriculture and Animal Services team have been on the ground since the fires began, staffing evacuation centres, conducting animal welfare assessments, supporting land managers with stock destruction and burial, and providing emergency fodder and water.
- Fodder distribution points at Moruya and Bega have so far supplied 829 tonnes of fodder and 531 kilo litres of water to fire affected land managers. 139 property were visited to carry out animal assessments.
- Agriculture and Animal Services encourage fire affected land managers to call 1800 814 647 for emergency fodder, water, veterinary or stock burial services.
- South Coast Police are urging the public to report all crime, in particular any theft or stealing from homes or vehicles in bushfire-affected areas.
- NSW Police has deployed additional personnel to Eurobodalla and every effort is being made to reduce criminal activity as well as take legal action against offenders. Police are asking reports be made, no matter how minor the incident may appear.
- Reports can be made to local police stations, police on patrol or the Police Assistance Line on 13 1444. Any suspicious activity can be reported to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
We’ll regularly update our online recovery resources. You'll find this community recovery update on Council's Facebook each weekday.