Blue Mountains News

Bushfire Recovery Continues at Council

By Blue Mountains City Council
Posted: 30 Aug 2020
Mayor Mark Greenhill and Blue Mountains City Council’s Recovery Officer Rebecca Evers.
Blue Mountains City Council’s Bushfire Recovery Action Plan continues to guide community recovery following the summer bushfires.

The Action Plan seeks to support those directly impacted by fire, as well as the wider community, many of whom lost significant income due to reduced tourism in the area.

Key bushfire recovery actions completed in the last two months include:

  • The recruitment of a dedicated Community Recovery Officer, for 12 months (funded by Resilience NSW).
  • Continued updating and circulation of the Bushfire Recovery Guide, including information regarding land clearing, rebuilding and grant availability.
  • Ongoing distribution of funds, and collection of donations, through the Bushfire Mayoral Relief Fund.
  • Continued partnership with Step by Step Recovery Support Service, who provide both practical and emotional support.
  • Participation in, and support of, Resilience NSW’s Outreach Survey, which seeks to understand the needs of bushfire affected residents for longer-term recovery.
  • Establishment of a community group focused on restoration of gardens and township vegetation.
  • Repair and rebuild of damaged infrastructure including roads, signage, drainage and other traffic facilities.
  • Launch of a domestic marketing campaign to attract tourists to the area.
  • Expansion of the Love Local campaign online to support local musicians, run workshops hosted by local business owners and create online directories of local businesses and tradespeople.
  • Successfully gaining funds under the National Bushfire Recovery Agency grant to host the Wollemi Market, through which local creatives can showcase and sell their items. This was, in particular, combating the downturn in income from visitors who usually would buy souvenirs and support local artisans. The grant has also provided funding for a mural to be painted by a local artist, adjacent to the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre.
  • Development of a project with local Commercial Tourism Operators to provide training and skills in walking track management, designed to support ongoing employment of skilled operators and to mitigate the risk that skilled operators will leave the area due to lack of work.
  • Continued waiver of rebuild application fees.

Mayor Mark Greenhill said: “I’m pleased to see how far we have come in our recovery, but it’s important to remember that there’s still a lot to do. Recovery isn’t a quick fix, and we are in it for the long haul,” he said.

“Council will continue to provide support to the bushfire impacted communities and be a key point of communication as new announcements are made, new services become available and additional sources of funding are released.”

You can still donate to the mayoral Relief Fund. Funds directly benefit Blue Mountains’ communities affected by the bushfires to recover and rebuild. The fund has so far raised almost $100,000 and almost 100 payments have been distributed to the community.

 
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