Rotary gets behind bushfire appeal

DUBBO'S four Rotary clubs are waiting to hear how they can help displaced and distraught residents of Coonabarabran pick up the pieces of their lives.

On behalf of the clubs, president of the Rotary Club of Dubbo Macquarie Peter English has made contact with president of the Rotary Club of Coonabarabran Hugh Raadgever, one of many forced to evacuate their properties because of the worst fire in NSW this summer.

Mr English has asked how best the Dubbo clubs can help Coonabarabran and district residents after the flames are put out, and emergency services and welfare agencies have left the town.

The presidents of the Dubbo clubs-Mr English, Dubbo West's Lyn McDonald, Dubbo's Kelly O'Reilly and Dubbo South's Joe Canalese-met this week and resolved to "do whatever is needed".

Dr Raadgever, a retired dentist, has indicated that the Coonabarabran club intends setting up a bank account to receive donations.

Yesterday Mr English said donations of money would flow through the community, helping the direct and indirect victims of the devastating fire, including Coonabarabran businesses.

He has asked for details of the account for distribution to the other Dubbo clubs.

"They have expressed a strong interest to make contributions into that account for your club's discretion of where the most need is," Mr English has told Dr Raadgever in an email.

But the Dubbo Rotarians are also willing to stand shoulder to shoulder with an embattled community.

"It was also suggested by some Rotarians that the Coonabarabran community may need extra people power when all the media and emergency service personnel have left town," Mr English said.

"If you believe our presence would be beneficial either for working bees, clean-up, fencing, tree-planting or just taking a bus load up to your Rotary meeting or community event to provide what Rotarians do best, fellowship, then please let us know so that we can put the wheels in motion."

Mr English said any help from the Dubbo clubs would supplement the "good work" of welfare groups and agencies already operating in the town, including Red Cross and the Salvation Army.

"The community of Coonabarabran will be hurting for a long time after this event is finally over, and I hope that you keep in contact with us as you don't have to face this alone," Mr English wrote.

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