Blue Mountains News

Community Recovery Officer to Support Residents Impacted by the 2019 Bushfires

By Lithgow City Council
Posted: 20 Aug 2020
Lithgow City Council is pleased to welcome Rachel Nicol as Council’s new Community Recovery Officer to support residents impacted by the 2019 bushfires.

Announced in May 2020, this new 12 month role is funded by the Commonwealth and State Governments and will assist members of our community who were impacted by the bushfires and ensure that they continue to receive the help and support they need to rebuild and get back on their feet again.

In the months since the disaster, we have been in touch with many of those in the community whose residence or property was damaged or destroyed in the fires through: Recovery centres, assistance points, community meetings and through our mobile outreach activities.  Rachel, along with representatives from state government agencies, health care, and charitable organisations will be at the Lithgow Library on Thursday 20th and Thursday 27th August between 3:00pm and 5:00pm to listen and advise on available options to assist with bushfire recovery.

Since the bushfires Council has been actively involved in coordinating the recovery effort mainly funded under Commonwealth Disaster Recovery Funding.

Recovery activities have included:

  • Coordinated works to make properties safe, particularly the removal of dangerous trees on private property.
  • Cleared and cleaned up destroyed Council assets, including the Petra Avenue Playgroup facility at Clarence.
  • Coordinated the installation of portable toilets (to replace burnt out toilets) at the Zig Zag Railway / Newnes Junction site.
  • Purchased mapping software to identify bushfire impacted areas for future development.
  • Undertaken stormwater clean-up works in the following bushfire impacted areas: Wolgan Valley, Vale of Clwydd (Lithgow), Farmers Creek (Lithgow), Glen Davis, Glen Alice, Clarence and Palmers Oakey. Clean up works include the clearing of roadside drainage, removal of debris from under bridges and rectification of damaged unsealed road assets.
  • Developed a series of videos; “Welcome Back to Lithgow” focused on destination marketing activities for the Lithgow region to assist tourism operators to recover from the economic impacts of the bushfires
  • Coordinated with Central West Entertainment & Events the successful “Lithgow Live ‘n’ Local” online concerts featuring local artists performing for small audiences at local venues during July.

Council will be continuing to work together with all relevant service providers and organisations to ensure members of our community have fair and equitable access to services which meet their needs and assists them in the recovery. We have partnered with Service NSW and Resilience NSW and in coming weeks, members of the community impacted by the Bushfires will be contacted and requested to participate in a short survey which will help us to 

  • Further understand their needs and identify how we can help them
  • Keep them informed about assistance that is available and refer them to services that can help.

Connecting with impacted community members and hearing from them will help us provide support to our community.

 
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