News

EUROBODALLA DISASTER RECOVERY CENTRE OPENS TOMORROW (WEDNESDAY) AT BATEMANS BAY SOLDIERS CLUB

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The following is the latest report from the Eurobodalla Emergency Operations Centre at Moruya 3.30pm 14th Jan 

  • Change of venue for Eurobodalla Recovery Centre from tomorrow to Batemans Bay Soldiers Club 
  • Kings Highway opens today, 4pm

Fires

NSW RFS report that weather for the next few days is predicted to be more favourable with the chance of showers later in the week. Although there is still significant amounts of fire across the area, the risk has eased. Firefighters and support agencies will continue work to contain and recover from the fires over coming weeks and months.

NEW Fire impacted residents

Eurobodalla’s three evacuation centres remain open to support those impacted by fires, with changed hours this week for Narooma and Moruya.

Support services provided by the centres are transitioning to the Eurobodalla Recovery Centre, now open at Batemans Bay Community Centre, 2 Museum Place, Batemans Bay.

  • Batemans Bay evacuation centre Hanging Rock Function Centre, Hanging Rock Place – open 24/7
  • Moruya evacuation centre Moruya Basketball stadium, in the showgrounds, Albert Street - open 7am to 7pm.
  • Narooma evacuation centre Leisure Centre, Bluewater Drive – open 9am to 5pm, closing 5pm Wednesday 15 January.

NEW Eurobodalla Recovery Centre

Eurobodalla’s Recovery Centre is now open, located in the Batemans Bay Community Centre at 2 Museum Place, Batemans Bay. Immediate assistance with accommodation and relief grants will be available today at that location for fire-impacted residents.

From tomorrow (Wednesday 15 January) the recovery centre shifts venue to the Batemans Bay Soldiers Club. The change of venue allows for a larger and more comfortable space that can accommodate all the services on offer.

The recovery centre is an official NSW Government Disaster Welfare Assistance Point. Professional staff who understand the emergency will be on hand to help, providing a one-stop shop for recovery information, services for the community, and to expedite government processes. 

A mobile outreach service will be established to make sure all fire-impacted residents in Eurobodalla can receive support. 

The Recovery Centre will be a safe place for those affected by the disaster to meet and talk about their experiences. No appointment is necessary. You will be welcomed and supported.

Eurobodalla Recovery Centre

FROM 10am WEDNESDAY 15 JANUARY *CHANGE OF VENUE*

Batemans Bay Soldiers Club

Beach Road, Batemans Bay (parking from Flora Crescent)

Open seven days, 9am – 5pm (note: opens 10am, Wednesday 15 January)

If you are unable to get to the Disaster Welfare Assistance Point please call the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444.

NEW Residents returning to north-west Moruya

Far South Coast Rural Fire Service advise that continuing favourable conditions mean residents living in north-west Moruya can return home. Moruya industrial area is also now open. There is still active fire in the area, and firefighters will be taking advantage of favourable conditions to backburn behind properties. Residents will need to monitor the conditions closely and know what they will do if fire threatens. Residents of that area feeling anxious or unsafe may need to consider not returning for the time being.

NEW Visitors: information for residents

NSW Rural Fire Service Far South Coast advise that weather for the next few days is predicted to be more favourable with the chance of showers later in the week. Although there is still significant amounts of fire across the Far South Coast the risk has eased and NSW RFS advised the public yesterday there are villages and towns that are now safe for people to visit.

The Rural Fire Service is asking local holiday parks and accommodation providers to review their systems of monitoring weather conditions and changes in the fire situation so they can ensure their guests are well informed and stay safe whilst visiting the area.

Eurobodalla Council and NSW RFS are urging visitors to make contact with their accommodation provider or the Batemans Bay or Narooma Visitor Information Centres to discuss local conditions before travelling to the Eurobodalla.

Council understands the community is hurting and that our recovery has barely begun. Part of that recovery is the return of visitors to help businesses get back on their feet. Council’s tourism promotions at this time will welcome visitors, let them know the community needs their compassion, but also tell them honestly about the damage the community has sustained.

That will include up to date information about areas of Eurobodalla that are not accessible due to fire damage, National Parks, State Forests and other closures, water restrictions, along with requests to respect the privacy of residents and avoid fire-impacted residential areas, and that they must be vigilant while in the Eurobodalla and monitor Fires Near Me and Live Traffic. Council will continue to keep the community and tourism businesses informed about its approach to visitor promotions.

NEW Kings Highway opens today

The Kings Highway will open today at 4pm. 

Travel

Emergency services are asking people in the Eurobodalla to avoid fire-affected residential areas to respect the privacy of those who have lost homes. Please observe roadblocks. They are in place for your safety.

Cleaning up after fires

In Eurobodalla, the bushfires have destroyed 453 homes, 73 facilities, and 722 outbuildings, with damage sustained to 228 houses, 28 facilities and 223 outbuildings.

It is imperative people do not enter properties until advised it is safe. The building could be unstable and there are possibly electrical hazards, hot coals or hazardous materials. Do not sift through fire-damaged material until it has been inspected and verified to be asbestos-free.

Licensed contractors from NSW Public Works Authority are working through Eurobodalla’s fire-affected areas, prioritising areas where there is an increased likelihood of children potentially accessing fire-affected sites.

Signs are displayed on properties that have been inspected to provide advice for owners. You can find out the status of your property by calling Public Works Advisory on 1800 885 539.

Building rubble should not be buried as it may contain hazardous materials.

Don’t spread ash around your property, particularly if asbestos materials were used in your home or other structures, or CCA-treated timber was burnt. Moisten the ash with water to minimise dust and keep damp but do not use high pressure water sprays.

Wildlife

A huge shout out to Eurobodalla’s WIRES team. This small band of volunteers has worked night and day to help wildlife injured in the fires. All praise and strength to them.

Eurobodalla Council’s environment team say residents can help out our native animals by placing dishes of water no more than 15cm high in their gardens. Make sure they can escape if they fall in. We don't usually encourage feeding wildlife but at this drastic time some fruit and vegies and wild bird seed without black seeds may help get animals through until their natural food supplies replenish. Council staff are placing water and food around the shire’s reserves. Please don’t place water or food near roadsides.

NEW Power

Essential Energy advise that 1,394 Eurobodalla customers continue without power following the bushfires. More than 90 percent of residents have had power restored. The remainder are in areas where the network has been badly damaged. Today’s focus is around Malua Bay and Surf Beach.

Water

All Eurobodalla residents should be conservative with water use to make sure we have enough water for drinking and firefighting. Level 3 restrictions remain in place, meaning all outdoor water use is restricted to up to one hour of watering your garden between 6am and 8am OR 6pm and 8pm. Please help conserve water and refrain from washing your car.

If you notice neighbours misusing water, you might feel comfortable having a chat to explain why it’s important to conserve our water for firefighting and community use, or you can call 1800 755 760 to report.

Swimming and beaches

Smoke, ash, debris, potential runoff from burnt areas and possible sewer surcharges may have impacted Eurobodalla’s waterways. As a precaution, the advice is to avoid swimming in waterway and beaches, especially if the water looks murky and discoloured. Lifesavers are on duty at Eurobodalla’s eight patrolled beaches to advise people that beaches currently aren’t open. This will be reviewed before the weekend.

Eurobodalla’s swimming centres at Batemans Bay, Moruya and Narooma are open.

Rubbish collection

Eurobodalla’s kerbside collection is back on track, but not necessarily up to date yet. The Surf Beach tip fire has put additional pressure on resources and Council is asking residents for patience while operations return to normal after the fires. Please resume your normal collection schedule from Monday 13 January.

Council advises they were unable to provide the additional green waste pick-ups advertised for the north of the shire because of the Surf Beach tip closure. Please continue your good bin habits – red for waste, yellow for recycling, green for green waste.

Surf Beach tip is closed due to fire impacts. Moruya Transfer Station will now open seven days per week until Surf Beach re-opens, and Brou tip is open seven days per week. 

Residents whose bins have been destroyed by fire, please contact Council’s waste services on 4474 1024 to organise delivery of replacements.

Fire affected land managers – stock and infrastructure assistance

Fire affected land managers can report stock losses and infrastructure damage, request animal assessment, or request emergency fodder or water for stock, by calling the Agricultural and Animal Services Hotline on 1800 814 647.  Fodder distribution points are now open across the South East. Please call the hotline to register and only present to a fodder distribution point when advised to.

NSW Police

South Coast Police are urging the public to report all crime, in particular any theft or stealing from homes or vehicles in bushfire-affected areas.

Police are asking reports be made, no matter how minor the incident may appear.

NSW Police has deployed additional personnel to Eurobodalla and every effort is being made to reduce criminal activity as well as take legal action against offenders.

Reports can be made to local police stations, police on patrol or the Police Assistance Line on 13 1444. Any suspicious activity can be reported to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333000.

Australian Defence Force

Australian Defence Force personnel have been deployed to the Far South Coast to assist in bushfire clean-up efforts.

Donations

Eurobodalla has been overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness of people from around Australia donating items for our fire affected residents. However, services are now struggling to manage the volume of donated goods. They’re filling up community space and taking the time of workers away from focusing on the welfare and recovery of residents. The best way people can help is to donate to one of the charities associated with the recovery effort. Money gives people choice to buy the things they really need and lets them support their local businesses by spending locally. Consider donations to:

  • Salvation Army 2019 November Bushfire Appeal
  • Red Cross Relief and Recovery
  • St Vincent de Paul Society Bushfire Appeal
  • Wildlife Rescue

NEW Looking after your mental health

Additional health workers have arrived from out of the area to assist in providing psychological care, support and services to the Eurobodalla community. They are connected with evacuation centres and the Local Health District care team. If you or anybody you know needs psychological support, please contact NSW Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511. If you or someone else is in immediate danger, call Triple Zero (000) or go to your nearest hospital emergency department.

The following services are here to help. They are confidential and available 24/7. 

Rural Financial Counselling Service P 1800 686 175
Provides free information and assistance to primary producers, fishers and small rural businesses on financial position, budgets and funding.

NSW Rural Assistance Authority P 1800 678 593 
Provides assistance to rural producers and small businesses in regional NSW. 

Reach Out is a youth-focused website which provides help and support for people aged 25 and under.

General practitioners can help you access a Mental Health Care Plan.

Community updates

Eurobodalla Emergency Operations Centre will continue to provide a morning update for the community. These are distributed to local media, community associations, evacuation centres, posted on Eurobodalla Council’s Facebook page and website, as well as printed and pinned to community noticeboards. Other announcements are made as required via local media and social media. Eurobodalla Council prepares and distributes the official communications as part of the multi-agency emergency response.

Key contacts

  • Fires Near Me app and website or call 1800 679 737
  • Live Traffic app and website or call 132 701
  • Disaster Welfare Assistance (food and shelter, disaster relief grants) emergency.nsw.gov.au or call 1800 018 444
  • NSW DPI Agriculture and Animal Services call 1800 814 647