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Community updates from the Emergency Operations Centre

17 Jan 2020

Thursday 16 January 5pm

Fires
Backburning has progressed well in north Moruya and west of the Princes Highway from Moruya south to Tilba. Rain today!

Eurobodalla Recovery Centre
Eurobodalla’s Recovery Centre is now open to support those 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.

  • Eurobodalla Recovery Centre
    Batemans Bay Soldiers Club
    Beach Road, Batemans Bay (parking from Flora Crescent)
    Monday-Friday 9am-5pm, weekends 10am-4pm

NEW Cleaning up after fires
In Eurobodalla, bushfires have destroyed 461 homes, 76 facilities, and 716 outbuildings, with damage sustained to 226 houses, 27 facilities and 224 outbuildings.

Residents should not touch fire-impacted materials until approved to do so. Many sites will have asbestos and other risks and these need to be investigated by licensed staff from NSW Public Works Advisory and Eurobodalla Council before the okay can be given. This assessment work has been underway since 6 January.

Advisory signs are displayed on inspected properties, or contact Public Works Advisory on 1800 885 539 for property status.

The NSW government yesterday announced it will pay for and arrange clean-up of fire-impacted properties, whether insured or not.

With so many buildings lost, there is more waste than can be accommodated at Council’s waste facilities. Council is working with NSW and Australian governments to find a solution that allows waste to be removed as quickly as possible.

Waste
For general waste, Surf Beach tip remains closed due to fire damage. Moruya is open seven days per week until Surf Beach re-opens, and Brou tip is open seven days per week. Standard tip fees apply. Council’s three-bin kerbside collection resumed as normal on Monday 13 January.

Water
All Eurobodalla drinking water is and has been fine to drink straight from the tap. Level 3 water restrictions are in place in Eurobodalla.

Wildlife
Eurobodalla Council’s environment team say residents can help out our native animals by placing dishes of water no more than 15cm high in their gardens. Make sure they can escape if they fall in. We don't usually encourage feeding wildlife but at this drastic time some fruit and vegies and wild bird seed without black seeds may help get animals through until their natural food supplies replenish. Council staff are placing water and food around the shire’s reserves. Please don’t place water or food near roadsides.

Power
Essential Energy advise that more than 90 percent of Eurobodalla residents have had power restored. The remainder are in areas where the network has been badly damaged.

Essential Energy is contacting customers who are currently without power and expected to have extended power outages to discuss their needs and advise whether any additional support can be provided, where suitable and available. To contact Essential Energy, call 13 20 80 or visit the website.

Swimming and beaches
Council is expecting Beachwatch testing results on Friday. An all clear means sewerage is not impacting our beaches.

The ash and debris along with potential runoff from burnt areas will continue to influence Eurobodalla’s waterways.  As a precaution, the advice is to avoid swimming in waterways and beaches if the water looks murky and discoloured.

Lifesavers are on duty at Eurobodalla’s eight patrolled beaches to advise people that beaches currently aren’t open. This will be reviewed before the weekend.

Roads and travel
Please drive carefully as we are seeing more stock on Eurobodalla’s roads with the loss of fencing.  And of course 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.

The 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.

Rural resilience officers are working with partners in the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program, NSW Health and the Rural Financial Counselling Service to ensure the community is aware support is available.

Agriculture and Animal Services encourage fire affected land managers to call 1800 814 647 for emergency fodder, water, veterinary or stock burial services.

NSW Police
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.

Police are asking reports be made, no matter how minor the incident may appear.

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.

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 333000.

Australian Defence Force
Australian Defence Force personnel have been deployed to the Far South Coast to assist in bushfire clean-up efforts.

Visitors: information for residents
With the Kings Highway now open, Eurobodalla is expecting to welcome Canberra visitors this weekend. Here is the message from Council’s tourism team:

The Kings Highway is now open and the RFS have given the all clear for visitors to return to the Eurobodalla. We welcome you back to our beautiful coast. We need you to understand that our beautiful place has some healing to do. More than 400 of our residents have had their homes destroyed and many more are damaged. Hectares of bushland is burnt, and our wildlife has suffered too. People are hurting and have a long recovery ahead.

Part of that recovery is the return of visitors to help our businesses get back on their feet. So please come and see us. Pack your kindness, and your understanding that Eurobodalla might be a little different for a while.

Before visiting, we urge you to make contact with your accommodation provider or the Batemans Bay or Narooma Visitor Information Centre to discuss local conditions before travelling to Eurobodalla.

Key contacts

  • Fires Near Me app and website or call 1800 679 737
  • Live Traffic app and website or call 132 701
  • Disaster Welfare Assistance (food and shelter, disaster relief grants) emergency.nsw.gov.au or call 1800 018 444
  • NSW DPI Agriculture and Animal Services call 1800 814 647

Contact us