Fence army reinforced

DAMAGE: Around 5,700 kilometres of fencing was damaged by the Sir Ivan fire in February. BlazeAid volunteers continue to reestablish fence lines.
DAMAGE: Around 5,700 kilometres of fencing was damaged by the Sir Ivan fire in February. BlazeAid volunteers continue to reestablish fence lines.

BlazeAid has received a much needed funding boost from the state government, two months after the Sir Ivan and Kains Flat fires.

The volunteer organisation has been helping repair fences and clean up after the catastrophic fire conditions, which started on February 12. The Sir Ivan fire destroyed or damaged 5,700km of fencing.

NSW Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair visited Mudgee last week to thank volunteers and announce funding of $10,000.

“Organisations, like BlazeAid, have helped farmers recover and this is a small contribution from the NSW Government, to allow them to purchase more equipment and more containers, so that they are ready for the next response.”

“It doesn’t matter if you’re here in Mudgee or Cassilis or any other area, we know that if there is a problem BlazeAid will be there,” he said. 

“Whether it’s a fire or a flood, they come in like an army and help communities recover.”

In support of the State Emergency Service (SES), the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and Local Land Services deployed staff who offered immeasurable support to the region’s farmers and landholders.

“DPI and LLS Staff have worked hard to locate and assess livestock affected by the fires and where required, arranged for the burial of dead stock,” Mr Blair said.

“Sadly, more than 5,000 livestock and other animals died or were destroyed as a result of the bushfires, with sheep the hardest hit. 

“DPI and LLS staff also coordinated the collection and distribution of tonnes of donated fodder and truck loads of fencing material.

“A huge thank you to our local SES volunteers and departmental staff for making sure every farmer had the support they needed to recover - my thoughts are with all those affected by this horrible disaster.”

Eligible primary producers affected by the fires can apply for assistance under the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA). To apply for a concessional loan or freight subsidy, contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit raa.nsw.gov.au.