Community Recovery Newsletter #1 - Blackford-Avenue Range Fire

14th January 2021

COMMUNITY RECOVERY NEWSLETTER #1

BLACKFORD-AVENUE RANGE FIRE

MESSAGE FROM THE MAYORS

Dear Community Members,

The Blackford-Avenue Range bushfire has been a very frightening and traumatic experience, particularly for those living in the vicinity of the fire area, and our thoughts are with you all.

We sincerely thank all the people who were involved with fighting the fire, including CFS personnel and volunteers, emergency management personnel, farmers, and community volunteers.

We have received many telephone calls and messages of concerned thoughts, support and offers of assistance.

His Excellency, the Governor of SA, Hieu Van Le, wishes to pass on his gratitude to all involved, his concerns for all who have been impacted by the fire and his care and best wishes in the forthcoming recovery. Calls from the Premier, Stephen Marshall, the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, David Basham, and Senator Penny Wong also included offers of assistance.

Many South Australian Mayors have also phoned or sent messages offering understanding and offers of support and assistance including Mayors Michael Pengilly (Kangaroo Island), Bill O’Brien (Light Regional Council – Pinery fire), Dave Burgess ( Mid Murray), Peter Hunt (Berri Barmera), Des Noll (Wattle Range), Richard Sage (Grant), Alison Noonan (Robe), Lynette Martin (Mount Gambier), Anita Frank (Glenelg Shire), Sam Telfer (Tumby Bay), and Naracoorte Lucindale Council and Kingston District Council continue to work together. It is so heartening to receive the many offers of assistance and donations which will support with recovery.

As we now move from the immediate fire incident to a recovery phase, we will be facilitating a community meeting in recognition that the Blackford-Avenue Range fire is a disaster for our community.  It has caused widespread destruction across many properties, impacted livelihoods and will no doubt leave an emotional toll that may take some time to be realised. This will provide those directly impacted by the fire, and other interested residents, an opportunity to hear from the people on the ground during the fire fight as well as support that is available now.

The immediate response to the fire and addressing the impacts on our community is a priority for our Councils. For us, this includes supporting lead agencies, logistics around community support and information provision, connecting those who want to provide help to those who need it and where possible, providing real assistance to those in need. Our initial efforts have focussed on assisting CFS, making our road network safe and accessible, and working with PIRSA on stock losses and disposal.

We acknowledge that the Lions Club of Lucindale has already shown great leadership and community spirit in coordinating donations and stock feed, and we aim to work closely with Lions and other parts of the community to deliver the services and outcomes required.

Our community is resilient, we know that.  However, we can help you better if we know what you need, so don’t be afraid to put your hand up.  We are here to support our community in a difficult time, and will respond to any of your concerns, as we all transition to the recovery stage of this fire event, with all the energy and resources we can reasonably muster.

Mayor Erika Vickery OAM, Naracoorte Lucindale Council

Mayor Kay Rasheed, Kingston District Council

Erika Vickery - Mayor

KDC Mayor Kay Rasheed