Blacktown bus for Walcha BlazeAid bushfire relief

Published on 12 February 2020

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Blacktown City Mayor Tony Bleasdale OAM has handed over the keys to a commuter bus to Walcha Council as part of Council’s continuing bushfire relief and recovery program.

The new 25-seat bus is on loan to Walcha Council for 3 months to assist in the transport of BlazeAid volunteers as they rebuild many kilometres of fencing that were destroyed in devastating bushfires that swept through northern areas of New South Wales before Christmas.

Blacktown City Mayor, Tony Bleasdale OAM said, “We are the biggest council in NSW and have so far been untouched by the bushfires, therefore we are more than happy to step in and help where we can, including providing transport for the BlazeAid teams that are doing such a great job in the Walcha district.

“Blacktown City Council is one of the key members of the Local Government Bushfire Recovery Support Group which has been established to match council requests for assistance with offers of people and equipment from councils not impacted by the bushfires.

“Walcha Council indicated there was a need for transport for the BlazeAid volunteers and two days later we handed over the keys.

“Blacktown City Council already has people working in the Recovery Support Group, Wingecarribee Shire Council, Shoalhaven City Council and Hawkesbury City Council,” Mayor Bleasdale said.

The Blacktown City Council Bushfire Appeal has so far coordinated the collection and delivery of more than 25 tonnes of food and essential supplies to bushfire ravaged areas.

The Appeal has also raised more than $65,000 in donations.

Blacktown City Council has committed up to $2 million for its bushfire response and recovery operations over the next 12 months.

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is also committing resources to help in the recovery effort in the Walcha district. The ADF is helping out in the small communities of Yarrowitch and Nowendoc after Walcha Council applied for assistance through the NSW Office of Emergency Management.

Walcha Council Mayor, Eric Noakes said, “The support Walcha Council has received from city and regional councils, government departments and agencies has been overwhelming. We are especially thankful for the practical help in this instance from Blacktown City Council and the Australian Defence Force.

“Councils throughout NSW, especially those such as Walcha Council, are doing a fantastic job supporting their communities in these difficult times,” Mayor Bleasdale said.

 Picture: Blacktown City Mayor, Tony Bleasdale (right) hands over the keys to Noel O’Brien of Walcha Council.

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