Locals continue to dig deep to help our neighbours to the south in the aftermath of the devastating start to the fire season.
A collection at the New Years’ Eve celebrations on the harbour gathered over $20,000 for local Rural Fire Service brigades, and many other initiatives have raised money and delivered essential goods to ravaged towns.
For examples of the latter, both Kiama and Gerringong surf life saving clubs became collection points for water, non-perishable food and the like, and drove trucks down to help the residents of Lake Conjola.
Kiama Leagues Club was opened for a night as an evacuation centre as an overflow centre for Bomaderry Bowling Club, and stands prepared to be called upon again.
Kiama Council has been working closely with Wollongong and Shellharbour councils to provide assistance to Shoalhaven Council.
“There is daily communications between the four general mangers,” says Kiama Council’s General Manager, Kerry McMurray.
“Every council has provided some practical assistance, directly in response to requests.”
As an example, Kiama has recently sent three garbage trucks and drivers down to Sussex Inlet to do a much needed rubbish run.
“We are assessing what our capability is to provide resources and plant without having a significant impact on our own services, bearing in mind we are significantly smaller than Wollongong or Shellharbour,” says Mr McMurray.
Council staff are also on duty at the Illawarra Emergency Operations Centre every time it is activated.
With the fire season far from over, our area is not immune from threat.
“We are aware of the potential threats and believe that every piece of planning that could be done has been done,” says Mr McMurray.
“We have taken every action and step, and conducted significant planning, to be prepared to be able to respond proactively should the need arise.”