THINGS TO DO

The fire damage rebuild begins in the Walcha Shire

More than 80,000 hectares have been burnt and dozen of homes were destroyed in the Stockyard Flat fire
More than 80,000 hectares have been burnt and dozen of homes were destroyed in the Stockyard Flat fire

Two Walcha women are in the process of establishing a BlazeAid camp at Yarrowitch to help local graziers and residents of Blomfield Rd clean-up and repair the fences destroyed during the recent catastrophic bushfires in the area.

Local grazier Erica Halliday and local tourism advocate Louise Clarke have spoken with the volunteer-based organisation that works with families and individuals in rural Australia after natural disasters such as fires and floods.

Working alongside the rural families, their volunteers help to rebuild fences and other structures that have been damaged or destroyed.

"BlazeAid will assist with the rebuild if we can get enough support from the community and council to assist them," said Mrs Halliday.

We would like to know if anyone in the community wants to volunteer to help

Eric Halliday

"We would like to know if anyone in the community wants to volunteer to help - either with fencing or catering. We are just putting in the application now so dates will be forthcoming."

Mrs Halliday said she had spoken to Walcha Mayor Eric Noakes who is following up on a National Disaster Grant of $5000 which will go towards food for volunteers.

"Louise and I have also approached both local and national government to assist with communication (a tower or a booster for the camp), and local businessman Peter King from Walcha Vet Supplies is working with Waratah to assist with fencing supplies. "

Mrs Halliday said the Yarrowitch community wanted to thank the Rural Fire Service, National Parks and local bulldozer drivers and farmers for the amazing work they did along Kangaroo Flat, Mooraback and Blomfield Rd.

"It was a combined effort of leadership, courage, communication and practical application," she said.

Louise Clarke has volunteered her farm stay as a base camp for BlazeAid should they come, and has also volunteered to be the local coordinator.

It's all right to say it's insured and can be rebuilt but the personal impact cannot be recovered that easily

Eric Noakes

Mr Noakes said the houses, infrastructure and stock lost in the recent fires all belong to someone and put many in the unenviable position of having to start again.

"It's all right to say it's insured, and can be rebuilt, but the personal impact cannot be recovered that easily," he said.

"The eastern side of our local government area suffered under this attack with many residents being left homeless and farmers without grass."

On Monday an additional $1 million cash injection from the NSW Government into BlazeAid was announced to allow it to continue rebuilding vital farm fences destroyed during the recent devastating bushfires.

BlazeAid Ebor Camp Co-ordinator Tony Samuel said the funding was a great relief for volunteers.

"When it comes to farming stock proof fences are one of the most important pieces of infrastructure someone can have," Mr Samuel said.

"This announcement is extremely welcome and it gives us an extra pot of money to keep boots on the ground and working continuing.

"I want to sincerely thank the State Government for their ongoing support of our work."

To enquire about volunteering at the Yarrowitch BlazeAid camp call Erica on 0427780154 or Louise on 0428 695 184

This story Locals lobby for Yarrowitch BlazeAid Camp first appeared on Walcha News.