Showing posts with label people power. Show all posts
Showing posts with label people power. Show all posts

Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Rous County Council extends deadline to comment on proposed Dunoon/Channon dam until 9 September 2020

Proposed Dunoon Dam site. Google Earth overlay. Image: Echo NetDaily, 14 July 2020 

In July 2020 Rous County Council announced the proposed Future Water Project 2060 – a $245 million plan the county council states will future-proof the community’s drinking water supplies.

The revival of the concept of a second dam on Rocky Creek, near Dunoon, sparked debate across the Northern Rivers and the Dunoon Dam Proposal Action Group was formed.

The Daily Telegraph, 11 August 2020, p.11:

A community group opposed to a possible dam in Dunoon have continued their push to raise public awareness surrounding the issue.

The proposed 50 gigalitre Dunoon Dam is part of Rous County Council’s Future Water Project 2060 but has caused controversy, with the group concerned about the project’s impacts on sacred Aboriginal sites and The Channon gorge.

The group held a stall at The Channon Markets on Sunday — the first time they held an official activity against what they describe a “destructive dam”.

People need to be aware that it’s happening here, it’s like (800m) from the bridge near here,” group member Terri Nicholson said.

The group is urging Rous County Council to investigate alternative water conservation methods.

Some of the alternatives are strong demand management, use purified, recycled water, water tanks to name a few,” Ms Nicholson said.

On Friday, the proposal’s submission timeline was extended until September 9 by Rous County Council for the public to have their say.

Details on where to send a submission can be found here.

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

NSW farmers against gas fields on agricultural land or in vicinity of rivers, lakes and underground water

The Daily Telegraph, 21 June 2020:

Local farmers are spoiling for a fight with the State government over plans to dig hundreds of gas wells across NSW’s most fertile countryside.

A proposed $3 billion project to drill 850 coal seam gas wells between Narrabri and Gunnedah would be a “climate crisis” according to farmers in north west NSW, who hold grave fears for the future of livestock, cropping and human drinking water.

The NSW Department of Planning last week approved the proposal after a drawn out three-year process, which means the final hurdle is sign-off from the Independent Planning Commission.

A NSW Farmers branch representing hundreds of farmers across the Liverpool Plains voted unanimously to call on its peak industry body to up the ante in its opposition to the coal seam gas project.

The Gunnedah and Tambar Springs branch of NSW Farmers has formally requested its parent body lobby the government to scrap the Narrabri coal seam gas project and extinguish 11 expired and inactive petroleum exploration licences dotted around the region.

Santos Narrabri Gas project has raised alarm among farmers over the future of livestock, cropping and human drinking water in the area. Picture: Nathan Edwards.

Santos has claimed the project won't compromise the Great Artesian Basin – the world’s largest underground freshwater tank, big enough to fill Sydney Harbour 130,000 times – but farmers maintain there is too high a risk it could deplete and irreparably contaminate the aquifer.

"What my members are saying is they can produce food and fibre without gas, but they can’t do it without water,” branch secretary and wheat farmer Xavier Martin said.

The Berejiklian government is not listening so NSW Farmers has to escalate this.”

Farmers see the Narrabri project as a “Trojan horse”, which if approved will encourage gas miners to fire up 11 expired and largely inactive petroleum exploration licences in the state’s north west from the Upper Hunter and Liverpool Plains north to Moree and west to Coonamble.

Monday, 29 June 2020

Murdoch & Costello may be doing their best to kill off print newspapers in Australia but some country towns are fighting back

ABC News, 26 June 2020:

As News Corp prints its final print editions of 125 titles, entrepreneurial publishers are considering how to fill the void. Newspaper editor Jeff Gibbs has employed 12 staff in the past week, picking up journalists made redundant by News Corp in northern New South Wales. 

Mr Gibbs said the opportunity presented by News Corp was too good to pass up. "We decided that the community needed a community newspaper and so we banded together and thought, 'right, let's do this,'" Mr Gibbs said. 

Jeff Gibbs thinks many readers and advertisers are not ready to go digital.(Supplied: Northern Rivers Times
From offices in Casino, Mr Gibbs and his staff are preparing the first edition of The Northern Rivers Times. 
Mr Gibbs said he had done the sums, and could make the numbers add up producing a weekly free publication with an initial print run of 15,000 covering the NSW Northern Rivers region, from Tweed Heads to Grafton.

"There's a number of ways of doing it and it's purely through advertising," Mr Gibbs said. "We're doing it all in house, we're not farming anything out. 

"I don't know what News Corp's business model was, but I can't see why they couldn't make it work." 

Mr Gibbs said it was his firm belief that a lot of readers and advertisers were not ready to go digital, particularly in areas with poor internet coverage.

Other print mastheads which have launched since those previously servicing rural/regional communities announced closures:

Southern Highland Express established June 2020 & published weekly. Price $2

Yass Valley Times established June 2020 & published weekly.

Hunter River Times established June 2020 & published fortnightly. Free

Naracoorte Community News established May 2020 & published weekly. Price $2

Ararat Advocate established May 2020 & published weekly.

Braidwood Changing Times established April 2020 & published fortnightly. Free

If you live in these areas please consider placing your business advertising, community notices, or personal notices in these new papers.

Print is much easier on the eye than News Corp and Nine digital newspaper editions, which in the end carry very little local news.

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Time to fight for the forests in New South Wales

In the 2019-20 bushfire season wild fires ravaged forests across New South Wales.

The 100km deep coastal zone running the length of the state was particularly hard hit, but Nambucca State Forest was spared and is a critical refuge for unique wildlife still struggling after those fires.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported on 1 May 2020 that; Government logging has resumed in fire-damaged forests in NSW despite warnings that devastated bushland and endangered wildlife are too fragile to withstand further disruption.....about 92 per cent of the area set for logging was burnt in the fires.

On the morning of Friday 15 May 2020, Gumbaynggirr Traditional Owners and the Nambucca community peacefully demonstrated outside the forest and successfully stopped the NSW Forestry Corporation logging for the day. 

This forest is one of the few remaining patches of unburnt koala habitat and critical refuge for wildlife after the recent bushfire season. 

Community action brought a welcome reprieve but the fight is just beginning. 

The people of New South Wales still need to make sure Nambucca State Forest is kept safe for good. 

Support the Gumbaynggirr Traditional Owners on the frontline by calling on your MP to take urgent action to stop this logging destruction.

Join the fight and email your own state MP to save Nambucca and all native forests from the chopping block.

If you live in the Oxley state electorate make sure to email local Nationals MP Melinda Pavey at

At 10am on Tuesday 19 May 2019 logging trucks again entered one of the few unburnt refuges in Nambucca State Forest at Jack Ridge Road, Nambucca. If you live in the region now is the time to protest legally along boundaries of this forest at logging road entrances.

The 'Protect Nambucca Heads State Forest' group have put out a call for assistance.

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action Inc. commences a civil enforcement proceeding in NSW Land and Environment Court to compel the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate greenhouse gas emissions

Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action Incorprated is a group of bushfire survivors, firefighters, local councillors who have joined together to demand the Government take immediate action on climate change.

The group says of itself: "We have come together because we have lost our homes and our communities to bushfires and we want action. We are sick of waiting and we won’t put up with half-measures anymore. The Government can no longer ignore the way their climate change denial is hurting our communities and putting lives at risk. They must take Australia beyond coal projects like Adani and move to 100% renewable energy for all."

On 20 April 2020 Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action Inc. brought a civil enforcement proceeding in the Land and Environment Court to compel the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

The proceedings seek to force the EPA to establish a climate policy, based on its statutory role which includes a requirement to prepare policies to protect the environment. The group will be arguing that the EPA as lead environment regulator in NSW failed to establish such policies in relation to climate change.

The outcome of this case is of particular interest to communities in the NSW Northern Rivers region given the mega wildfires of the 2019-2020 bushfire season and the environmental devastation/property loss/social dsiruption in their wake.

On 27 April 2020 The Daily Examiner reported:

Any notion that climate change is an issue that can be dealt with effectively in some distant future has been shown to be untenable given events of the past few years. 

Extreme weather events, severe droughts and longer and more catastrophic bushfire seasons have shown more people there is a connection between these events and the growing carbon emissions in the Earth’s atmosphere. 

Australians concerned about climate change are becoming increasingly frustrated with the ostrich-like attitudes of many politicians and government agencies. 

One group that is taking legal action in an attempt to force a NSW government agency to do more on climate change is Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action, which is taking the Environmental ­Protection Agency to court ­because of its failure to better protect communities. 

Group president Jo Dodds said all members had experienced a bushfire first-hand. They believed climate change was a major contributing factor to the cause and growing intensity of bushfires in Australia. 

She said the issue wasn’t being taken seriously enough and “there’s a sense that the bushfires are over and we can get back to normal life after COVID-19 – but the fires are going to come harder and more frequently”. 

The Environmental Defenders Office is representing the group. EDO chief executive David Morris said the EPA had “a statutory mandate to protect the environment … but the EPA don’t have a current policy to regulate greenhouse gas emissions”. 

“Those two things can’t coexist,” he said. “We’re simply asking the court to tell the EPA go and create environmental quality objectives with respect to greenhouse gas emissions, regulate the pollution and use their existing powers to do so.” 

According to the EDO, the EPA is in a unique position. As an agency “with teeth”, it has the power to issue licences to control pollution, as well as put caps and prices on substances that are harmful to the environment. 

The case is listed in the NSW Land and Environment Court in Sydney on May 8. 

Leonie Blain, Clarence Valley Conservation Coalition

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

NSW Northern Rivers 2020: There are kind people in our midst.......

The Northern Star, 19 March 2020:

After seeing distressed elderly people trying to shop in Ballina, Annika Korsgaard knew how she could help. 

In just 24 hours, the Lennox Head resident began implementing her idea to start a non-contact shopping and delivery service to help the ageing community members most vulnerable to COVID-19. 

Ms Korsgaard posted notices on several Facebook groups in the Ballina Shire, offering to shop for the elderly and home deliver their groceries and medications for free. 

Within hours she received numerous offers of assistance from other people volunteering their time to serve the community. 

This prompted her to build a basic website called HELP! ( to manage the rapid influx of requests for assistance and volunteer offers. 

“I had no idea this was going to spark any attention beyond a few people,” she said.“I am so thrilled a lot more people are coming on board.”

Friday, 6 March 2020

First turtle hatching on the New South Wales coast for 2020

Turtle hatchling
Image supplied

Turtlely cute hatchlings cause for shellabration

In eggciting news, the first hatchlings have emerged from one of eight turtle nests being monitored along the NSW coast by volunteers from the NSW TurtleWatch program.

The nest was laid at Port Macquarie in December and the hatchlings found during a nest inventory last week.

NSW TurtleWatch Project Officer Holly West said northern NSW beaches can provide important nesting habitat for green and loggerhead turtles, listed as vulnerable and endangered, respectively, in NSW.

“People should keep their eyes out from now until May for turtle hatchlings on north coast beaches.

“Our volunteers are like expectant parents at this time of year, eagerly awaiting signs our efforts have paid off.

“When we see those indications of hatchlings emerging from the nest, it’s an exhilarating feeling to think another lot of hatchlings have made it to the ocean.

“We did have some fears for the Port Macquarie nest after evidence of fox disturbance, but National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) rangers undertook some preventative measures including installing predator mesh to deter digging.

“After a nest has hatched NPWS conduct a nest inventory that will give us vital information about the success of the nest. 

This information can be used to help future monitoring and conservation efforts. 

The Port Macquarie inventory revealed over 90% of hatchlings from more than 100 eggs made their way to the ocean.

“15 live hatchlings were uncovered during the excavation and released after sunset.

“This has been a great start for the NSW coast turtle hatching season and our volunteers stand watch over another 7 nests in the Tweed, Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie areas.

“While we try to intervene as little as possible, we have worked with NPWS and council staff to give two nests a helping hand this year.

“One green turtle laid eggs on Manly Beach and we have relocated all 144 eggs from this nest to the Coffs Coast as they would not have survived in Manly due to the cool temperatures experienced there.

“Another nest laid on the Tweed Coast over the Australia Day weekend had to be relocated as it was laid below the high tide line.

“Fingers crossed we get some successful hatchlings from these and all of our other nests,” Ms West said.

To help hatchlings please remember to keep our beaches free from marine debris, sea turtles dig in the dark so keep lights low and keep your eyes peeled for hatchlings while walking the beach. 

If you see a hatchling on the beach, please contact Australian Seabird Rescue immediately on 02 6686 2852 or environment line 1300 361 967.

The NSW TurtleWatch program  is an initiative of the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s Saving our Species Program with Australian Seabird Rescue

It is a citizen science program involving volunteers collecting valuable data for marine turtles nesting in NSW and their potential threats.

To find out more or get involved with the NSW TurtleWatch Program e-mail or visit NSW TurtleWatch for more information

Jacki Roberts
Senior Public Affairs Officer
Office of the Coordinator-General

Hatchling stragglers
Image supplied

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......

Monday, 20 January 2020

Australian Bushfire Season 2019-20: Northern Rivers communities once again demonstrate that they care

Echo NetDaily, 17 January 2020:
11 volunteers headed up to farms near Tabulam last weekend to help get fences back in place following devastating bushfires in December. Photo supplied.
Having his and his neighbours farms devastated by fires in December, including the loss of one of their homes, local Byron Shire resident Bart Vanarey had put the call out for helping hands to rebuild fences on their properties. He was not left disappointed and had 11 people  last weekend and another 11 are people coming up this weekend to help get their perimeter fences re-built on the properties near Tabulam.
‘The response has been very heartening,’ said Bart.
Getting fence  farms near Tabulam last weekend to help get fences back in place following devastating bushfires in December. Photo supplied.
It was such a good weekend with helpers coming from all over the world (only in Byron Bay) from the Canary Islands, Ecuador, Canada, Texas and of course Lismore, Byron and Lennox.’
Even in the rain the volunteers got down to the hard yakka and kept building fences and while Bart was claiming they had managed to erect 700m of fencing he was told he was ‘dreamin’ and it was more like 400m.
The call was also heard by a tractor hire company who has donated a tractor to help with the fencing. Bart is continuing to raise funds for the materials and and has raised more money for another 170 fenceposts and 80 concrete fenceposts to be delivered to the properties....

Sunday, 19 January 2020

Australia 2019-2020: "I have never been prouder of my nation. Leaderless, leaders emerged ... "

This is author Jackie French:

Jackie and her husband Bryan live in the Araluen valley, a deep valley on the edge of the Deua wilderness area. Most of their property is now a Conservation Refuge for the many rare and endangered species of the area. They live in a home made stone house, with a waterwheel Bryan made as well as solar panels to power their house, with an experimental orchard of over 800 fruit trees and more than 272 kinds of fruit that show how farming can coexist with wildlife. Jackie writes columns for the Canberra Times, Australian Women’s Weekly, Earthgarden Magazine, Australian Wellbeing and Gardening Australia. Her garden rambles over about 4 hectares, and there is never a time when there aren't basketsful of many kinds of fruit to pick.

The opinion piece below was penned by French.....

The Sydney Morning Herald, 9 January 2020: 

It is impossible to weep. 

I cannot weep because this is only the beginning. Logs smoulder on our ridges, a tide of injured wildlife is sweeping down into our refuge. I have been living out of a suitcase for most of the past six weeks, evacuated twice, sleeping in many different places and accepting generosity too great to count. I need to clean the pink sludge from the fridge (hint: remove watermelon from fridge before evacuating), keep putting out food and water stations, cope as desperately injured wildlife emerges from the flames, and help others in every possible way I can. 

Focus on what you can do. Don’t cry for what you can’t. 

I also cannot weep because I dare not even imagine yet all that we’ve lost. Friends have lost their houses and towns, entire communities have been displaced, the social links that make us who we are, as social beings, turned to smoke. Tourist towns have no tourists – or the heritage buildings that made them tourist towns. Businesses are bankrupt. Evacuees like me have lost months of paid work, with more lost months to come. I am OK. Many are not. 

The carefully planted local Indigenous "food larder" landscape I have loved and depended upon most of my life, and that has survived 200 years of colonisation, cannot survive fires like these. Farms and vast areas of bush already teetered on a knife-edge in the worst drought in history. Now they are ash. The Araluen Valley, south-east of Braidwood in New South Wales' Southern Tablelands, has lost much of its remaining peach orchards. Will the orchardists replant? We don’t know. 

I do know our community will support them. And that I have never been prouder of my nation.  

Leaderless, leaders emerged; the magnificent firies, but also those who defended their houses and others with nothing but hoses and determination. Our neighbour, Robyn, singlehandedly waited to defend her farm while checking on the properties of those who had evacuated, knowing that with age or injury we would now be a hindrance, not a help, on the fire front. 

I have never been prouder of my nation. Leaderless, leaders emerged ... [And] this is the comfort we must give our children: in the past weeks, Australia has been a truly great nation. We must remain one. We must not forget. 

Friends in their 70s and 80s, who would not want to be called old men, have been out for days or nights for three months with the tankers. I have seen a man, dying in great pain, still struggle towards the flames to give his wisdom on where the fire might go; I have seen wombats share their holes with snakes, quolls, possums and a nervous swamp wallaby; a fridge on the highway kept constantly stocked with cold drinks for those defending us; six firies leaning against the hospital wall, too exhausted to stagger inside for first aid. The next day they went out again..... 

Please read the full article here with its acute observations and well thought through suggestions.

Friday, 3 January 2020

The NSW Northern Rivers region's anger at Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is not going away

Byron Bay Shire resident, singer-songwriter Tex Perkins, performed at Sydney's New Year's Eve open-air event bringing in 2020.

Millions of people across the country and around the world saw his performance during the ABC TV live broadcast.

Tex dedicated the song The Honeymoon is Over to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Immediately and very publicly flipping him the bird while roughly facing Kirribilli House where the prime minister and his selected guests had gathered to watch the fireworks.

News Corp's main online media site reported on 1 January 2020:

He was hammering home his disgust at the PM’s alleged lack of action on climate change and leadership as wildfires lash large parts of the country 

The jubilant crowd’s reaction would be painful enough, but Perkins’ aptly chosen song “The Honeymoon Is Over”, which he released as a member of the band The Cruel Sea, features on Mr Morrison’s Spotify playlist titled “How good is Oz Rock! (ScoMo’s Classics)”

IMAGE: The Daily Examiner, 1 January 2019

Friday, 13 December 2019

More news about one NSW Northern Rivers fireground; "people came in droves" to defend the rainforest

Nightcap National Park in August 2012. Image: Kris Excell, Flickr 

Watch ABC TV "7.30"Community Defenders help fight rainforest bushfires here (5 mins. 17 seconds).

When more than 40 bushfires raged across New South Wales last month, one community gave fire fighters some welcome support.

It happened in and around Mt. NardiNightcap National Park and Nimbin in the Northern Rivers region.

The local volunteer Community Defenders worked "their guts out" according to a NSW Rural Fire Service (NSWRFS) crew leader. 

"And I'm so proud of them. Without the volunteers we would not have contained this fire."

Hearing that the World Heritage-listed Gondwana rainforest was under threat people from miles away "came in droves" to help the defenders protect that forest.

It is believed that at least one hundred people were working with the Rural Fire Service crews on duty during November.

ABC News, 9 December 2019. Image: Felix Schafer-Gardiner

"The communities sought good and strategic advice from us and they worked with us", [NSWFRS] Captain Mantscheff said.
"Huge control lines were being consolidated and constructed.
"Their marvellous feats of endurance to drive them and construct six-lane highways that would make it very difficult for the fire to get across.
"It made our firefighting job so much safer.
"It bought time and no one lost a home there because of the work that was being done.
"Man oh man, they stepped up in such a way that we, all of us in uniform, were just completely blown away and continue to be because they're still out there now."
One NSWRFS volunteer tweeted about everyone working on that fireground in November; "It was an absolute honour and privilege to work alongside all those people".
Fire did eat into the national park, but it did not destroy it all.

In December fire ignited in the Mt Nardi area again and as of 10 December 2019 it was listed as being under control. The local community continues to help.

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:

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: