Mid North Coast could be in for serious bushfire season ahead

Be prepared: Oxley MP Melinda Pavey with some of the NSW Rural Fire Service volunteers who fought the devastating fires at Pappinbarra in February.
Be prepared: Oxley MP Melinda Pavey with some of the NSW Rural Fire Service volunteers who fought the devastating fires at Pappinbarra in February.

After a dry late winter, we face a challenging bushfire season. Accordingly, I encourage all residents who live near bush and grass fire prone areas to prepare for the season ahead. This means updating or creating a Bushfire Survival Plan and making sure the whole family knows what to do, and when. It could save lives.

The NSW Rural Fire Service’s Get Ready Weekend is on at local brigades this weekend. You can visit the local brigade to pick up vital fire safety information, and thank our firefighters for their hard work.

How to prepare: trim overhanging trees and shrubs; mow your lawn and remove all the cut grass; remove flammable materials from around your home (e.g. door mats, wood piles, mulch, leaves, paint, outdoor furniture); clear and remove all debris from gutters; ensure you have hoses to cover the perimeter of your home. Download a Bushfire Survival Plan at rfs.nsw.gov.au/resources/bush-fire-survival-plan.

Women’s sport the focus of grants

Local sports clubs in the Hastings are invited to apply for grants of up to $20,000. The focus this year is encouraging more talented girls and young women into sport programs. About half of all Australian boys are active at club level in their youth compared with 33 per cent of girls, and the participation rate drops sharply after girls turn 12. 

The Local Sport Grant Program covers initiatives like new sport programs and upgrades to facilities or projects that improve participation. Grants are open until October 6. For information visit sportandrecreation.nsw.gov.au/clubs/grants

Ask RU OK?

RU OK? Day aims to prevent suicide by breaking down barriers to conversations about mental health. If you feel someone you know isn’t themselves, ask if they are OK, listen, encourage them to seek help, and don’t forget to check-in. For information on RU OK? Day go to ruok.org/howtoask

The 24/7 NSW Mental Health Line is 1800 011 511, and the Lifeline is 13 11 14.