Coffs Harbour City Council
supplementary agenda item
COUNCIL ADMINISTRATION BUILDING
COFF AND CASTLE STREETS, COFFS HARBOUR
Thursday, 28 November 2019
MM19/04 Community Loss from Bushfire Emergency............................................. 2
1. Convey our deepest sympathy to the fire affected communities and especially those who have recently lost houses and other buildings.
2. Acknowledge the amazing ongoing efforts of the RFS, community services, and other emergency agencies, including our own Council staff, in response to the fires.
3. Thank the previously unheralded local community leaders and groups who have appeared out of the ranks to rally their communities around those who need it.
4. Thank all the volunteers both locally and interstate who have come to our aid and also acknowledge the ongoing State and Federal Government recovery support.
5. Notes that a temporary supply of free potable tank water replenishment to fire affected households in the RFS mapped fire zones has recently been provided.
6. Actively promotes the Rates, Charges and Fees – Financial Hardship Policy, including payment arrangements (deferred payments) and the writing-off of interest, where applicable.
7. Work with Clarence Valley Council on a possible Blaze Aid camp at Glenreagh or Nana Glen.
8. Continue to work closely with the North Coast Regional Bushfire Recovery Committee to ensure all affected residents within our Local Government Area receive the assistance they require to recover from the event.
This Mayoral Minute aims to acknowledge the community loss from the bushfire emergency and provide further assistance from Council to help the Coffs Harbour community recover in the fire affected areas.
The fire threat to our LGA on Tuesday, 12 November 2019 was significant and the conditions unprecedented, and as I write this Mayoral Minute fires are continuing to threaten communities beyond our immediate borders to our north, south and west. The messages to our own community are threefold:
1. Our brilliant Rural Fire Service volunteers, led by an equally outstanding group of professional RFS, Forestry and National Parks fire leaders at the Coffs Harbour Fire Control Centre, have been on the job constantly since the beginning of August this year. On Tuesday, 12 November they worked hard to save major parts of our LGA from burning. They have continued with that work ever since and yesterday they completed a protective 40 kilometre fire defensive line along the southern edge of the Liberation Trail Fire to our North. Today they began similar work to halt the Ebor and Carrai East Fires from impacting the Bellingen area to our West. They are a remarkable group of people and we owe them all a debt of gratitude.
2. The fire season still has many months to run. We are by no means out of the woods yet. All of us need to maintain our vigilance and preparedness for a return of the fire threat before this season is over. Take this opportunity to prepare your properties and to review your personal fire plans in light of what we have all learnt over the past few weeks.
3. We are aware that 18 properties have been lost to fire within the LGA. To the people who have been directly and significantly impacted, especially around the Nana Glen and Ellems Creek Road areas, I hope that you are starting to experience the assistance that is being made available by Federal and State Government agencies. Council will continue to do everything within its power to assist you to access that help and recover as soon as possible. Nevertheless, the full recovery is going to take a long time.