The ongoing issues with bushfires in NSW and Queensland have brought about the tragic loss of hundreds of buildings including homes, sheds and outbuildings. Sadly, there has been loss of human life and widespread loss of stock and wildlife as the fires move though both private and public lands.
There can be no argument that bushfires are a fact of life in Australia and that despite the best efforts and at times the worst efforts, successive State Government in concert with Local Government have provided improved, strengthened and more broadly co-ordinated and integrated fire-fighting resources that are agile, skilled and local.
NSW has a Rural Fire Service which, like other states, is heavily reliant on the volunteer fire fighter. I would like to publicly acknowledge the efforts of all volunteers and RFS staff in their valuable pro-active endeavours to keep the community safe from fires and their brave work in fire control and management. We are indeed fortunate to be part of a broader community where such selfless commitment to public service is so readily provided.
There is one thing that we can all do to protect our families and at the same time assist the RFS, that task is to make a Bushfire Survival Plan. Just 20 minutes is all that it will take to have a discussion with your family to agree what you will do during a fire, that discussion could save your life, the life of a loved one or your home.
The RFS website has content dedicated to assisting people in the creation of a Bushfire Survival Plan with a downloadable checklist that can be used to put your plan together, regardless of your decision to leave in the event of a fire or stay to defend your property.
You can find the checklist and a whole raft of other great resources on the RFS website at http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/plan-and-prepare/ I urge you to take the time to have a read of the materials and develop a plan for your situation – you owe it to yourself and your loved ones.
I would like to take the opportunity to wish everyone a happy, safe and peaceful holidays and Christmas/New Year. If you have to travel - please be careful on the roads.
Regardless of whether you have been naughty or nice... may the dust dissipate, the wind weaken and the rains return soon.
Councillor Greg Armstrong
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