Sixty people attended a bushfire recovery community meeting in Cassilis on Wednesday evening, 1 March 2017, for an update on issues such as fencing, stock management, dangerous trees, waste disposal and mental wellness.
Updates on the fire recovery efforts were provided by representatives of Upper Hunter Shire Council, Rural Fire Service, Local Land Services, NSW Police, Blaze Aid, Rural Resilience and Hunter New England Health.
Council’s Director of Infrastructure Services Alan Fletcher, who chaired the meeting said many of the questions were about stock management including fencing, and clean up efforts.
“In the Upper Hunter Shire, four houses were burnt down in the Cassilis region, and the Rural Fire Service tests the sites for hazards such as asbestos,” Mr Fletcher said.
“In addition to the houses, there were many more sheds, equipment and much fencing also destroyed. We estimate around 100 people in the Upper Hunter Shire alone, are directly impacted by the Sir Ivan fire.
“We urge people to be cautious in the clean up and disposal of waste even if it was a small shed. It is important to dispose of burnt structures appropriately. There can be potential health and safety hazards in the remaining rubble and ash. These include chemicals, electrical hazards, structural damage and asbestos. Please wear appropriate personal protective equipment if you do need to access a property and avoid creating or disturbing dust,” he said
“Council is assessing roads and other infrastructure, as well as burnt trees on road reserves to identify those that will need to be removed.”
Mr Fletcher urged anyone with questions about managing waste disposal from the bushfires to contact Council’s Infrastructure Services department on 6540 1100.
Mayor Wayne Bedggood, Deputy Mayor Maurice Collison, and General Manager Waid Crockett also attended to speak with residents.
The community meeting was held in Cassilis Community Hall which has served as a drop in information centre in past weeks. The drop in information centre will close after Friday 3 March 2017.
A Fire Recovery Workshop will be held 9am Tuesday 7 March at Cassilis Community Hall organised by Local Land Services.
There is a Sir Ivan Fire Recovery Information Point open in Coolah at the Warrumbungle Shire Council building at 59 Binnia Street, Coolah (Martin Stree entrance) or call them on 6377 1122. They are open 9am to 4pm week days.
Information and advice will still be available to Cassilis residents from Upper Hunter Shire Council and other agencies such as Local Land Services. Council is working closely with the relevant agencies and our neighbours, Warrumbungle Shire Council and Mid-Western Regional Council.
Upper Hunter Shire Council
02 6540 1100
Upper Hunter Shire Council is a local government authority and provides an extensive array of services including health and building; town planning; aged care; sporting and recreational facilities; roads; libraries; garbage collection; airport facilities; saleyards; public venues; water; children, youth and families and tourist information.