Showing posts with label Clarence Valley. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Clarence Valley. Show all posts

Sunday, 29 March 2020

COVID-19 Pandemic 2020: across the Clarence Valley major retailers have shut up shop


Across the Clarence Valley major retailers have shut up shop.

The Daily Examiner, 26 March 2020:

Mosaic Brands, which owns Rivers, Millers, Noni B, Autograph, Crossroads and Rockmans, among others, announced it would be closing its stores as of yesterday evening and stood down 6800 staff.

When The Daily Examiner contacted one local retailer affected by the announcement, staff had not yet been told they would be stood down.

The move will have significant ramifications for the Clarence, with at least eight stores being affected, seven of which are situated in Grafton Shoppingworld.

Carol Durrant, assistant manager at Rockmans on Prince St, said while the impact could be “disastrous” for the local economy in the long term, it was not unexpected.

She said there had been a significant decline in the number of shoppers during the past week.

“Well, we knew it had to come as both my daughters are in retail in Queensland and they had been shut for the last week – it had to come,” she said.

Ms Durrant said the downturn in shoppers was a sign the community understood the new social distancing measures.

“I think people are realising it is non-essential and we haven’t seen a soul all day,” Ms Durrant said.

“They are really getting the message.” For anyone who ventured into Grafton Shoppingworld it was impossible not to notice the impact the pandemic was having at a local level.

The chairs have been removed from the food court with the recently announced ban on indoor eateries and there were few people out shopping.

Mosaic Brands said in their announcement the measures were temporary. “All team members affected by the store closures will be stood down with access to leave entitlements while the group reviews government support schemes that may be available to them,” they stated.

“The group has recently seen a significant drop in store traffic and revenue, a direct result of the community’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak and the government’s social distancing recommendations.” A Grafton Shoppingworld spokesperson said the announcement would affect seven stores in the centre but noted the centre would remain fully open.

“The centre is constantly liaising with all relevant authorities and will follow all directives in regard to its operation to ensure a safe environment for all,” the spokesperson said.....


Friday, 27 March 2020

COVID-19 cases quickly climbing in the NSW Northern Rivers region


COVID-19 infection rose from 7 to 17 cases within a 24 hour period in the NSW Northern Rivers region. Total number of cases now stands at 22 individuals.

Northern NSW Local Health District (NNLHD), media release, 24 March 2020:

10 new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed within the Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) since our last update, bringing the District’s total to 17 cases.
The Public Health Unit is in the process of contacting close contacts, and investigations are underway to determine the sources of these cases.
The confirmed cases to date are spread across the length of the Local Health District, from Clarence right up to the Tweed Valley.
We’d like to thank those who have been cooperating with our Public Health Officers to date, working with our staff and self-isolating correctly at home.
We can’t emphasise enough how important it is for all our community to heed the advice of authorities in efforts to slow the transmission of the virus.
It’s critical to adhere to self-isolation guidelines if you’ve been instructed by health authorities or mandated to quarantine as a result of overseas travel.
For general members of the public, the most important things you can do at the moment are:
  • practising good hygiene – hand washing or sanitising, and coughing/sneezing into a tissue which you then discard
  • staying at home if you’re sick
  • minimising close contact with others by following the social distancing measures.
It’s also important to remember that locations where cases live, work or have visited don’t pose an ongoing risk to members of the public. If you are considered a close contact of a confirmed case, a Health officer will contact you directly.
COVID-19/flu clinics
COVID-19/flu clinics are established at The Tweed Hospital, Lismore Base Hospital and Grafton Base Hospital, open from 10am to 6pm daily.
These clinics are for those most at risk with respiratory symptoms or fever, those returning from overseas or in contact with a COVID-19 case, or people like our health workers. It is vital that these respiratory clinics are not overwhelmed with people who are not in the high risk groups, which could result in delays identifying those most vulnerable. People without symptoms do not need to be tested.
The symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, headache, runny nose, or shortness of breath. Anyone with symptoms should isolate themselves from others.
Identification and isolation of contacts is a critical measure that limits the spread of COVID-19. Compliance with self-isolation by all contacts and returned travellers is essential.
When social distancing actions are combined with good personal hygiene measures the spread of an epidemic through the community can be slowed.
This helps protect the most vulnerable members of the community. It also reduces the impact of the epidemic on essential, life-saving health services by reducing the size of the peak of the epidemic so health services can continue to provide high quality care to all patients.
Everybody must play their part.
For advice and information about COVID-19 visit www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/Pages/coronavirus.aspx
Northern NSW Local Health District (NNLHD), media release, excerpt, 26 March 2020:

As at 8pm Wednesday 25 March there were five new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in residents of the Northern NSW Local Health District. This brings the District’s total to 22.
The new cases are:
  • Case 18 – currently not residing in Northern NSW LHD, in home isolation
  • Case 19 – in home isolation after returning from overseas
  • Case 20 – in home isolation after returning from overseas
  • Case 21 – in home isolation, source currently being investigated
  • Case 22 – in home isolation, source currently being investigated
The Public Health Unit is following up close contacts of cases who are located within NNSWLHD, who are being asked to self-isolate for 14 days from last contact with the confirmed case.
They will be contacted daily to check that they are well and anyone who develops COVID-19 symptoms will be tested for the virus.
If you are considered a close contact of a confirmed case, a Health officer will contact you directly.
 The cases for NNSWLHD include:
  • 15 overseas acquired cases
  • 2 contacts of a confirmed case/ or in a known cluster
  • 2 contact not identified
  • 3 under investigation – source unknown
Of these previous 17 cases, 14 are currently in self-isolation at home and two are in hospital. One person is considered to have recovered.

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Clarence Valley 2020: For the first time since WWII Maclean's Highland Gathering has been cancelled


On 16 March 2020 the organiser's of the Highland Gathering at Maclean NSW - due to be held on 10 & 11 of April - announced it will not be held this year due to national restrictions in place with regard to large groups during the the COVID-19 pandemic.

Secretary of the Lower Clarence Scottish Association Alister Smith told The Daily Examiner“We obviously have a lot of people within the particular age range that are susceptible. It’s a very difficult decision when you think the last time we’ve had to cancel the gathering was for World War II.”

Participating bands, solo players, stall holders and sponsors will be contacted in coming days to make arrangements for repayment of any fees.

In the Clarence Valley at least 17.5 per cent of the populaion are 70 years of age or older and, health authorities have identified the elderly as being more vulnerable to infection.

Thursday, 12 March 2020

Topsoil loss during 2020 flooding in the Clarence Valley


The Daily Examiner, 9 March 2020:

Anyone travelling around the recent flood-affected areas of the Valley, including along the Clarence River itself, couldn’t fail to notice the chocolate brown colour of those floodwaters.

The Orara River was particularly bad, and after the floodwaters had receded, council needed to use a front end loader to scrape thick layers of deposited mud off some roadways and bridges. The paddocks alongside creeks were likewise buried beneath a thick layer of mud.

This was always to be expected if torrential rain occurred soon after the bushfires, especially with ash washing off the bare ground into waterways.

But these floods brought more than ash. This was topsoil, something that is in short supply across much of the Australian continent. We are told that globally, some 24 billion tonnes of topsoil are lost annually through erosion, and Australia’s contribution is shameful, given we are a supposedly developed country with sufficient resources to protect this precious commodity.

Wind and water are the two main forms of erosion.

Both can be significantly mitigated simply by maintaining a good vegetation ground cover. Without that cover there is nothing to hold the soil, and this past season has highlighted that fact.

Firstly there was drought, and overgrazing to the point where only bare soil remained, resulting in one huge dust storm after another for months on end.

Then the bushfires destroyed what vegetation the livestock had left. Then came the floods, ripping apart fragile unprotected stream banks, and washing them downstream to the ocean.

Even without bushfires we lose far too much soil to erosion, and again, poor livestock management is largely to blame.

Many Australian rivers and creeks have no adequate vegetation to buffer against erosion and fewer still are fenced to exclude cattle.

As a result, these animals congregate along waterways, trampling banks, and browsing any available vegetation, so their impact is even greater than fire.

Landowners have a responsibility to manage erosion on their properties and to consider what they are leaving for future generations. If we are to solve the erosion problem, livestock management must be a focus point.

JOHN EDWARDS, Clarence Valley Conservation Coalition

Friday, 21 February 2020

Young storytelling in the Clarence Valley: ‘Yaegl Biirrinba' (This Is Our River) and 'River to the Sea'



https://youtu.be/srBp_713-5g

Yaegl Biirrinba' (This Is Our River) was created in June 2018, the result of a five day Desert Pea Media storytelling workshop. Co-written by, and starring, an incredibly talented group of Indigenous young people enrolled at Maclean High School, community members and local Elders - with support from DPM staff and local services.

https://youtu.be/sHZlCtpbZgM

‘River To The Sea' was created in December 2018, the result of a five-day Desert Pea Media storytelling workshop. Co-written by, and starring, an incredibly talented group of young people, community members and local Elders from Maclean and Yamba NSW - with support from the DPM team and Maclean High School Staff.

Sunday, 9 February 2020

Moderate flooding beginning to occur in the Clarence Valley


The Daily Examiner, 9 February 2020

Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology, New South Wales

Minor to Moderate Flood Warning for the Orara River

at Glenreagh and Coutts Crossing

Issued at 3:18 am EDT on Sunday 9 February 2020
Flood Warning Number: 18
MODERATE FLOODING OCCURRING AT COUTTS CROSSING
Minor flooding is expected at Glenreagh Sunday morning.
Moderate flooding is occurring along the Orara River at Coutts Crossing.
Further rain is forecast for the next 36 to 48 hours which could cause renewed river level rises. The situation is being closely monitored and revised forecasts will be issued if necessary.

Orara River:

Moderate flooding is occurring along the Orara River at Coutts Crossing.
The Orara River at Glenreagh Automatic Gauge is expected to exceed the minor flood level (5.00 metres) Sunday morning.
The Orara River at Glenreagh Bridge (manual flood gauge) is expected to exceed the minor flood level (4.00 metres) Sunday morning.
The Orara River at Coutts Crossing was 9.00 metres at 2:35 am Sunday with moderate flooding. Further rises are possible with forecast rain.

Flood Safety Advice:

In life threatening emergencies, call 000 (triple zero) immediately. If you require rescue, assistance to evacuate or other emergency help, ring NSW SES on 132 500.
  • * Avoid drowning. Stay out of rising water, seek refuge in the highest available place.
  • * Prevent damage to your vehicle. Move it under cover, away from areas likely to flood.
  • * Avoid being swept away. Stay out of fast-flowing creeks and storm drains.
  • * Never drive, ride or walk through flood water. Flood water can be deceptive and dangerous.
Latest Far North Coast river heights can be found here.

Saturday, 25 January 2020

Page One Images of the Week


The Daily Examiner, 17 January 2020:



Upper Clarence ecosytem buckling under stress of drought and bushfire.

The images of the river are from the Tabulam area, near Clarence River Wilderness Lodge.

The dead fish are from BIg Fish Flat, an area known for the protected eastern freshwater cod now only found in this river and commonly known as Clarence River Cod.

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Groups have been knitting & sewing around the globe to help Australian wildlife in the 2019-20 bushfire season


Clarence Valley Independent, 15 January 2020:



Anna Key says of her mum Nicki, that she was knitting pouches for Australia's bush fire injured animals until her hands were red raw and there had to be a better way. The answer was social media. Why have a handful of knitters when you can have thousands... maybe even tens of thousands? Image: Fran Dowsett

It all started with her mum “knitting a Koala pouch”. For week after week the Australian population has read and viewed accounts of bushfire devastation, not just along the east coast but on the far side of the country in Western Australia and South Australia. 

Whilst most of us feel individually helpless to do anything to assist, there are those individuals who take up the challenge and put their talent to the test. 

Yamba’s Anna Key is the first to admit she has no particular ‘talent’ so far as knitting, sewing and professional bushfire assistance is concerned. However she “loves digital marketing”. 

Anna’s story started on Friday January 3. “I was sitting watching my mum, Nicki, knitting a woollen koala ‘pouch’; it was the eighth pouch she had knitted (after a call for assistance from the Country Women’s Institute at Maclean) since fires began around Yamba and Angourie some months before”. 

Anna said she thought her mum’s efforts were commendable but the process was very time consuming and she would only be able to knit a handful of pouches. “I was sad and concerned with the whole online tone of argument and general panic about the fire situation.” 

“If only our tears could put out the fires” Anna kept saying. 

“My mind clicked into gear…what if could use my social media skills to enlist the help of dozens, or even hundreds to help?” Anna searched the internet for patterns and designs for pouches to post on her Facebook page. 

“I was struggling to find anything useful and then I came across the site of the ‘Animal Rescue Craft Guild’. I downloaded the patterns from their site and posted them to my Facebook page ‘Heist Jewellery’”. 

Anna says she is friends with the wife of Brazilian heavy metal band lead singer, Max Cavalera, of ‘Soulfly’. The band has 873,610 followers on their page – so plenty of exposure. They posted her Australian animal fire rescue information on their page, helping gain traction around the world. 

“That was on the Sunday and other musicians (from members of ‘Devilskin’, ‘God Forbid’, ‘Primer 55’ and ‘Toshi Iseda’) jumped aboard and also posted the information… a movement had begun”. 

“By Monday morning I had 11,000 shares and by breakfast it was 12,000.” 

Overnight, craft groups had started in the US, Canada, South Africa, NZ and the UK. Knitters from Portugal, Belgium, Hong Kong and Singapore soon joined with children at schools in Minnesota, Ottawa, Missouri and Utah forming knitting, sewing and crocheting bees. All this within a few days! 

Anna has since started the Global Craft Movement HQ F/book page so as to centralise all the activity. Information on international drop off locations is included on the page as well as information of the bush fire situation and the effect it is having on our native wildlife. 

The online statistics which have resulted from Anna’s action are truly amazing. Since she first accessed the ARCG site on January 3, that organisation’s group has grown from 37,000 to over 200,000. The Guild have since requested a temporary pause on any new craft projects so they can complete a stock take of what has been made and access what is still needed......

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

NSW Bushfire Emergency Declaration covering the Clarence Valley has been revoked as fires begin to diminsh


Bushfires in the Clarence Valley are diminishing.

So the Section 44 Bushfire Emergency declation declared in August 2019 when the NSW Rural Fire Service was battling around twenty fires a day - many caused by hazard reduction burns on private land which ran out of control - was revoked last week.

Although the fire grounds have contracted significantly, the Myall Creek Road and Washpool National Park fires are still burning and peat in the Shark Creek area is also still alight.

However, these fires have been listed as under control for some weeks.

Valley residents should still keep an eye open for new fire activity, because forewarned is forearmed for our scattered communities.

Since June 2019 an est. 548,698 hectares have burned in a local government area comprising a total of 1,044,996 hectares. That is almost 53 per cent of the Clarence Valley land mass affected by fire to date.

The fires kicked off in a big way in September when the Shark Creek fire entered Yuraygir National Park and spread to threaten Angourie and Wooloweyah with one spot fire burning as far north as the vicinity of the Yamba community pool before being controlled.

Then in October-November the Nymboida region began to blaze, quickly followed by the spread of the Myall Creek Road fire into the Valley, then Washpool National Park began to burn and Woombah through to the New Italy area as well as Bunjalung National Park lit up - creating even larger fire grounds.

Now on Wednesday 15 January 2020 the smoke has gone, the air is clean, in the Lower Clarence River the water remains clear and, popular beaches along the Clarence Coast are much as they were before the bushfire emergency began.

During the Christmas holidays the tourists came back, so there are small children in rashies, young women in sarongs & sandals and proud local grandparents showing off their visiting grandkids once more peopling our streets.

But all is not well. 

We can easily count how many homes, sheds and how much community infrastructure we've lost in the Valley and, eventually money will rebuild much of what is gone.

Trying to gauge the degree of loss of natural landscapes, wildlife biodiversity and cultural sites - and what that means to us as regional communities - will be much harder.

The Clarence Valley may find itself changed forever. 

Saturday, 11 January 2020

Look out, emus are about in the Clarence Valley


Clarence Valley Council on Facebook, 5 January 2020:

👀 Look out emus about

👍Emus often move large distances to forage, often crossing roads in their travels where they become at risk of vehicle strike.

❗️There are currently male emus caring for young chicks and their parental duties can slow down their road crossings considerably.

🚗 There is also increased traffic in the region with school holidays.

We ask everyone to be mindful of emus when travelling in vegetated areas and if you see one on the road please slow down.


Friday, 10 January 2020

Shannon Creek Dam water level continues to drop in January 2020


Against a background of continuing drought and low flows in many Clarence River catchment waterways, Shannon Creek Dam water storage continues to fall.

In early November 2019 the dam was at  97% of its total storage capacity.

By late December this had fallen  to 81% of capacity.

Currently in early January 2020 the dam is at 79% of its total storage capacity.

Water consumption now stands at 20.72 megalitres per day according to Clarence Valley Council.

Level 1 water restrictions are in place. 

However, if combined total consumption does not fall by 3 megalitres per day Level 2 water restrictions may be imposed in the near future.

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Is illegal water pumping occuring in the Clarence River catchment?


Then and now images of Washpool Creek....
The DailyExaminer, 7 January 2020


A large water tanker was discovered syphoning water from the Washpool - possibly without formal permission.

Witnesses say the tanker was well hidden.

Washpool Creek like other water courses is experiencing low flows due to the severe drought.

Baryugil Aboriginal Land Council intends to discuss the matter at its next board meeting and will pass on any information it uncovers to the NSW Dept of Primary Industries.

Sunday, 5 January 2020

One bushfire refugee's perspective


EchoNetDaily, 2 January 2020:

Fire fighters battling flames at Woombah, Iluka Road in November 2019. Photo Ewan Willis

As one of many bushfire refugees in Australia and beyond this year, I was faced with that classic question – what do I take and what can be left behind? A houseful of stuff and a small car are very different sizes, but when time is short, it’s amazing how it sharpens the mind, and the Tetris skills.

Turns out, not much is really necessary, or even desirable when it comes down to it. Being human, quite a few sentimental things of no practical use during an apocalypse found their way into the car. A few books. Also lots of ones and zeroes on hard drives of various sizes. Pretty much everything else was excess to requirements.

This is something more of us are learning as we move into this new reality, which has been predicted for some time, but not many expected would arrive so soon.

But what should we call this over-cooked era? Anthropocene has been suggested (or Anthrocene, as Nick Cave prefers) – the age when humans are the main drivers of everything that happens. Then there’s the under-sevens favourite, Plasticene. You only have to walk along a beach anywhere in the world and see the colourful detritus of our species to understand that one.

For me though, the one that takes the cake (a bombe Alaska, naturally) is the Pyrocene, or the age of fire. That’s what international fire expert Stephen J Pyne calls this era we’re living in, and after 29 books on the subject including Fire: a Brief History, he should know.

Burning stuff (especially fossil fuels) got our civilisation cooking with gas, made a lot of people rich, and now it seems everything else has to burn as a consequence......

Friday, 20 December 2019

Clarence Valley regional economy tops $2.13 billion in 2018-19


Clarence Valley Independent, 18 December 2019:




Clarence Valley is outperforming the rest of regional NSW, according to the latest gross regional product figures for the year ending June 30, 2019.
“Gross regional product (GRP) is the equivalent of gross domestic product (GDP), but for a smaller area,” the .idcommunity demographic resources update states on Clarence Valley Council’s (CVC) website.
The CVC local government area’s GRP was $2,134m as of June 30, 2019.
The valley’s GRP grew by 3.1 per cent, which followed 1.3 per cent growth in 2018; whereas regional areas of NSW, overall, went backwards by 0.5 percent in both 2018 and 2019 – another national study, released this week by SGS Economics and Planning, rates GRP for the NSW regions as falling by 0.3 per cent......
In 2019 there were 18, 854 jobs in the valley, up by 3.1 per cent on 2018’s 18,288 jobs.
However, it is likely that the infrastructure builds in the valley have inflated that figure.....
Read the full article here.

The 2019-20 financial year may be a different story come end of June 2020, as bushfires have devastated much of the Clarence Valley's natural assets which attract a high number of visitors to the region and prolonged drought has bitten deeply, with the entire local government area impacted by drought & just over 88 per cent by intense drought as the year ends.

Thursday, 19 December 2019

Level 1 water restrictions now in place for Clarence Valley


As of Friday 13 December 2019 Shannon Creek Dam had fallen to 82.3 % of its total capacity.

So from 16 December 2019 Level 1 water restrictions apply in addition to existing permanent water conservation measures.

So:
  • No outside garden watering between 9am and 4pm
  • No sprinklers or unattended hoses
  • Water efficient drip or spray systems – 15 minutes every 2 days*
  • Hand held hoses - 1 hour every 2 days*
  • No restriction on commercial/industrial use
* If your house address is an even number you can water on even numbered days. If your house address is an odd number you can water on odd numbered days.

NOTE: Breaching water restrictions is an offence under Section 637 of the Local Government Act.  Action may be undertaken against consumers who are detected breaching water restrictions in accordance with Council’s Enforcement Policy. Fines can apply to such breaches.

Thursday, 12 December 2019

Grafton civil rights law firm has a win in the High Court of Australia which should stop NSW Police from unlawfully arresting people for the sole purpose of questioning them when there was no intention at the time of arrest to bring them before a magistrate


The Grafton civil rights law firm of Foott Law & Co. had a win in the High Court of Australia on 4 December 2019 in the matter of a 2013 wronfgul arrest. 

In this lengthy progession through the lower courts to the High Court solicitor Joe Fahey was assisted by Dominic Toomey SC, Dallas Morgan and Dean Woodbury.

The High Court dismissed the appeal in State of New South Wales v Robinson and ruled concerning the power of a police officer to arrest a person, without a warrant, under s 99 of the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002 (NSW) ("the Act") when, at the time of the arrest, the officer had not formed the intention to charge the arrested person with an offence. A majority of the High Court held that s 99 of the Act does not confer a power to arrest a person in such circumstances.....

The High Court unanimously held that in New South Wales, at common law, an arrest can only be for the purpose of taking the arrested person before a magistrate (or other authorised officer) to be dealt with according to law to answer a charge for an offence ("the single criterion"). Nothing in the Act displaced that single criterion. An arrest under s 99 can only be for the purpose, as soon as is reasonably practicable, of taking the arrested person before a magistrate (or other authorised officer) to be dealt with according to law to answer a charge for an offence. A majority of the High Court held that it followed that the constable did not have the power to arrest Mr Robinson pursuant to s 99 when, at the time of the arrest, the constable had not formed the intention to charge him. The arrest was unlawful.


Sunday, 8 December 2019

Clarence Valley CWA branches doing their bit for firefighterd & bushfire victims


Grafton & South Grafton CWA branches are cooking for the firegrounds.

Clarence Valley Independent, 4 December 2019



The Maclean branch of the CWA has been busy sewing mittens and pouches for wildlife injured in the bushfires, using pure cotton and woollen materials donated by Clarence Valley residents.

Food Care at Good Intent Shopping Centre on Armidale Rd, South Grafton, which sells low cost food to those that need it, is also offering free of charge brand new clothing to fire victims. The store is open Wednesday, Thursday & Friday from 9am to 1pm.

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Clarence Valley kids raise $7,000 in a day for the 'firies' and Angourie village residents raised $15,950 to give to their local bushfire brigade


The Daily Examiner, 16 November 2019, p.6:

For some of the 3000 students at 15 local public schools, the best way they could help local Rural Fire Service units was to mix up their socks. 

Or even paint their hair pink. While it’s not your usual method, the students banded together yesterday in a little bit of crazy dress to raise more than $7000. 

Students were encouraged to dress up, and give a gold coin donation to go towards local units who have been busy defending our communities from recent bushfires. 

Grafton High School SRC organisers Carmen Dundon and Natasha Clausen said they wanted to do something to give the crews some respite. 

“Quite often the RFS has to go back out after fighting fires and fundraise just to support themselves, so we thought we’d help them out,” Ms Clausen said. 

Initially organised between Grafton High and Grafton Public, word soon spread of the idea, and 15 schools participated with more than 3000 students taking part. 

“It grew way more than what we thought it would,” Ms Dundon said. “But everyone knows someone who has been affected, and it’s great to see the community come together.” 

Grafton High School principal Peter South said that it was an amazing effort from the students. 

“You can see the kids very much care and feel for other kids and understand how important the RFS is in keeping people safe,” he said.

“There was no hesitation, all the schools just jumped to be part of it.” 

Mr South said many local schools had already been feeding and clothing children affected by the fires, with school communities at Baryulgil and Nymboida in classrooms at Grafton Public while their schools were closed.

“Everyone has been doing their bit to chip in,” he said.

The Daily Examiner, 16 November 2019, p.7:

Angourie residents have raised almost $16,000 for the Wooloweyah bushfire brigade to say thank you for recent efforts. 

Rapturous applause was given to the Wooloweyah Fire Brigade and NSW Rural Fires Services at Angourie as the community rallied to raise $15,950 in response to their tireless efforts during the Shark Creek bushfire. 

The recent bushfire came perilously close to the village of Angourie and Angourie Residents and Ratepayers Association Inc president Grant Jennings thanked the fireys on behalf of everyone in the seaside town.

Expressing the sentiment of the community, one resident said they were grateful to the Wooloweyah RFS and other locals who “did such a gallant job protecting our houses in Angourie”. 

Mark Evans, from Wooloweyah Fire Brigade, said the money would go towards essential firefighting equipment.

The Daily Examiner, 16 November 2019, p.7: 

The biggest cheer to come from the Nymboida residents’ meeting came after local RFS captain Paul Johnston addressed the gathering. 

But Mr Johnston said the whole community deserved the praise. “It was the way everyone worked together that got us through this,” he said. 

“People like the ‘scratch brigade’ who worked so hard over the weekend, after the fire went through, going around making things safe, took so much pressure off us.” 

Mr Johnston said half a dozen or more residents had attached tanks and pumps to the back of utes and trucks and ridden around the village, dousing pockets of fire. 

“They were our unofficial support brigade and allowed us to concentrate on the fire front,” he said. 

He said the size and speed of the fire as it hit Nymboida made it impossible to halt. 

“We could not have stopped that fire with 100 trucks,” he told the meeting. 

He was not sure how many units were working on Friday night, but he estimated at least 20.....

Readers, you too can show your appreciation of the NSW Rural Fire Service by donating directly to your local fire brigade or by going to: 

https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/volunteer/support-your-local-brigade

You can also make a bank deposit to NSW RFS:

Account Name: NSW Rural Fire Service
Bank: Westpac BSB: 032-001 Account No: 171051


Queenslanders wishing to support their own rural fire services can donate at:

 https://www.rfbaq.org/donate-to-rfbaq