CWA of NSW and Dunedoo community join forces to support Sir Ivan fire victims

Media Release – 16 February 2017

The Country Women’s Association (CWA) of New South Wales has today announced a commitment of up to $50,000 from its Disaster Relief fund, to assist the victims of the Sir Ivan fire with their immediate needs. The CWA also formed a committee with the community of Dunedoo yesterday to manage the many generous offers of assistance that are rolling in for people affected by fire.

All offers of help will be dealt with by the committee. Financial donations can be deposited into the CWA of NSW’s Disaster Relief Fund and will go directly to those in need. These donations will be tax deductible and can be made via the CWA of NSW website, or copy and paste this link:

https://cwaofnsw.org.au/donate

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According to CWA of NSW’s President, Annette Turner, 31 properties have been confirmed as destroyed but crop and stock loss assessment has only just begun and is escalating.

“Latest reports late yesterday from the Rural Fire Service indicated the 55,000 hectare fire was only just under control and many farmers have lost absolutely everything,” said Annette.

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“Our Disaster Relief fund is for exactly these types of situations and we are very pleased to be able to assist. Food, clothing and financial donations are what is most needed at the moment and I encourage everyone who is able to to donate and support those affected,” she said.

  • Clothing and food donations are being co-ordinated by Dunedoo Central School office staff (call 02 6375 1489 for details of where and how to deliver or collect). No furniture deliveries will be accepted at this time as those affected have nowhere to store them.
  • Short term accommodation is being organised and those requiring it should contact Sharon Nott on 0428 859 509.
  • Water deliveries can be arranged by contacting Peter McClung on 0428 863 219
  • Hay and grain deliveries are being co-ordinated by Hayden Rhodes and Sandy Cox from Delta Sullivans – contact 02 6375 1209, Hayden on 0428 811 774 or Sandy on 0428 865 299.
  • Counselling for fire victims is being arranged and Dunedoo Central School have a counsellor coming in for student assistance.
  • Townspeople are on hand to do basic things like clothes washing if needed. Dunedoo Central School will be organising this service.16711966_1236282786455422_5133467928900852735_n

“If you know someone who needs assistance, they or you (on their behalf) can contact Joy Beames (0428 751 173) or Sam Barrass (0402 592 436),” said Annette.

“As the fire continues to burn to the east of Dunedoo the advice from the Rural Fire Service late yesterday was that while there is no immediate threat to homes, if you are in the area of Cassilis or Coolah and in the vicinity of Warrumbungles Way, monitor conditions and be prepared to take action if the fire threatens your property.

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An information point has been established at the Coolah Sports Club. NSW RFS community liaison members are available to provide information and updates to residents. Please use caution when traveling in the area as there are reports of livestock and native animals on the road. Roads may also close at short notice for firefighting operations,” said Annette.

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Thoughts From the Road

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Well, hello again and a big thank you to Lyn for being my guest blogger last week. I’m thinking that when I “retire” from my current position I’ll go in search of a derelict vehicle and swap the soapbox for a sh*tbox!! (Spell check is not happy!)

Since I last wrote Bourke has received a bit more rain (note to self; invite PM to come to Rowena) and the Federal Government released its drought assistance measures which was pleasing to see and will help some in the short term. I remain concerned about those who rely on agriculture but who are not farmers and the long term consequences of an even greater population drift as a result of employees having to be laid off. A wage subsidy would have benefitted whole communities more and it will be interesting to see how the banks respond into the future when refinancing approaches are made. However, it is a good start and well done to the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott and Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce for going in to bat for battlers.

I watched Alex Cullen’s excellent story, “Drought; the last straw” on Sunday night and couldn’t help shedding a tear or two for my own boys, at home with Jeff and experiencing their own “baptism of fire” into farming life.

Last week I toured the Branches in our Blue Mountains Group of CWA of NSW and met the members on their own turf, so to speak. It is always enlightening to meet and talk to those members who, for various reasons, cannot attend AGM’s, schools/seminars, or commit to time away from home by volunteering to be on a state committee, but who quietly achieve good things for the benefit of their communities and the perception of CWA. This week I am visiting the Far South Coast members and look forward to hearing their stories and perspectives because a president cannot represent effectively if she (he) does not know the people for whom they advocate. Besides that, those always manning stockvault-milk135412the kitchen sink are often the ones who know exactly what’s going on! (and at dinner last night it was actually a man!!!)

Next week will see the annual Agricultural and Environment seminar at Potts Point and I hope to catch up with some members whilst they are here increasing their knowledge about “What milk is in your fridge” before finally wending my way home to reaquaint myself with the family and survey the damage from the dust and wind storm Rowena received whilst the rain fell at Bourke.