Council briefs: community forum

The first of council’s community forums for Yass and surrounding villages will be held tomorrow night at Gundaroo from 3.30pm to 7pm.

The event will be an open-forum environment and residents will be able to talk to senior staff and councillors.

Council use information from these forums when reviewing the delivery program and operational plans.

Other forums: Yass Soldiers Club on March 21, Gooroman Park in Wallaroo on May 16, Binalong Hotel on June 20, Murrumbateman Tavern on August 15, Bowning Hotel on September 19 and Wee Jasper Hall on October 17.

Committee nominations

Council has reopened nominations for its Section 355 committees, which contribute toward the planning and delivery of council services.

“Yass Valley Council's Community Section 355 and Advisory Committee's provide invaluable advice and support to council on a range of issues, services and activities,” council said.

Nominations close at 5pm Monday February 25.

Cobbler Road fire

Council played an active role during the Cobbler Road bushfire through the Local Emergency Management Committee (LEMC).

It coordinated the group which met daily during the emergency from 9.30pm the Tuesday night.

Throughout the emergency, 35 council staff worked a range of shifts to provide 24-hour support over five days.

“This included four graders constructing fire containment lines through some very rugged country, four water carts to assist the RFS unit refilling, provision of a fuel supplies for RFS units and controlling traffic on Childowla, Black Range and Burrinjuck Roads and assisting with the closure of the Hume Highway,” a council report says.

Council staff contributed almost 2000 man-hours to the fire fighting effort.

“The LEMC last met as a response committee on Tuesday 15 January and has now reconvened as a smaller group focussing on recovery actions,” council’s report says.

The report says current estimates indicate that around 10,300 sheep, 150 cattle and 15 horses either died in the fire or had to be destroyed as a result of injuries sustained.           

Council and BlazeAid

Council has endorsed the establishment of the BlazeAid base camp at Bookham, including waiving some fees.

A report went to the last council meeting outlining council’s involvement in the Cobbler Road fire emergency and recovery.

Councillors resolved to waive fees at the sewage treatment plant for effluent pumped out and transported from the BlazeAid site.

Fees for the site to be approved as a temporary caravan park were also waived.

It was estimated the cost to establish the camp was around $88,000 for 12 weeks and $118,000 for 20 weeks.

“Council staff have been able to reduce these costs by 50 per cent through the generous assistance of the community, local businesses and contractors,” a council report says.

Although that figure did not include the significant assistance by community groups to feed BlazeAid every night.

The financial contribution includes mainly in-kind services of site levelling, rubbish collection and the waiving of fees.

“The actual value will depend on the period of time that the camp is established… Many of the costs are fixed, regardless of the time frame,” the report says.

Council is negotiating with the state government to cover the balance of the costs, with any shortfall expected to come from donations or fundraising events.

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