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Rotary fire fundraising

posted Feb 20, 2017, 11:14 AM by Mel Heldon   [ updated Feb 20, 2017, 11:28 AM by Craig Bassett ]

Media Release: 

Following the extensive bushfires which have occurred in central western NSW recently, the Rotary Club of Mudgee and Mudgee Sunrise have jointly
sponsored and established a fund to assist individuals and families suffering significant loss and distress caused by the fires.

The fund has been established through the Rotary Australia Benevolent Society– an arm of Rotary Australia World Community Service - and has been listed as a charitable fund. This means it has Deductible Gift Recipient status so that donations made to it are tax deductible.

“Moneys donated to the fund will be used to assist those who have exhausted any assistance available from Government and Insurance resources following
the Sir Ivan, Kains Flat and other fires in the Mid-Western Regional, Upper Hunter and Warrumbungle regions” the Project Manager, Margaret Barnes of
the Rotary Club of Mudgee Sunrise, says.

District Governor of Rotary District 9670 Stephen Jackson drove through the area the day after the Golden Highway was re-opened and said “This is an area
well known to me. I had driven through it only 3 days before and it was well-grassed but obviously dry. When I returned the country around the Golden Highway was just black, kilometre after kilometre of fencing was damaged or missing, and there was almost no fodder available for the livestock which had
survived. There is a huge need for support”.

Dunedoo Lions Club and the Rural Financial Counselling Service have agreed to work with the sponsoring clubs.

The Rural Financial Counselling Serviced will make recommendations as to the people most in need of benevolent relief. The Service is a not for profit
organisation which is already working with people impacted by the fires and will be a valuable and impartial resource in assisting the project deliver to
those most in need.

Individuals, Rotary and other clubs and similar organisations, and corporate entities are urged to contribute to this tax deductible and charitable benevolent fund to assist in relieving the suffering of those who have and are continuing to experience personal trauma and property loss.

Donations can be made through an online process. To donate, go to

The Project Sponsors thank donors for their support.

Local Land Services

posted Feb 16, 2017, 12:08 PM by Craig Bassett


Local Land Services staff from Central Tablelands, Central West, Hunter and Northern Tablelands regions are continuing to offer support to landholders affected by recent Sir Ivan, Kains Flat and Ilford fires.

Acting as support agency with NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) under the Agricultural and animal services functional area banner, veterinarians and biosecurity officers are in the firegrounds dealing with animal welfare issues.

Mudgee Local Control Centre Incident Controller Clare Hamilton said the extent of the damage is yet to be completely grasped.

“Forward command posts have been established in Dunedoo and Merriwa”

“Staff based in these locations are working across the fireground to support landholders with affected livestock.

“Staff from across the state have come together to assist with this response.”

While the number of affected animals continues to rise, amongst those reported lost to date are sheep, cattle, goats, alpaca, horses and dogs.

“Of course fire is not picky,” Ms Hamilton said.

“With two RSPCA officers working out of the Dunedoo forward command post, assistance for injured native animals is also occurring promptly.

Central West Local Land Services Regional Veterinarian Jillian Kelly is working from the fire-affected area and said landholders needed to continue to monitor stock health.

“While livestock may have initially appeared unaffected, we are now receiving reports of animals with badly-burned feet, respiratory and other health issues,” Dr Kelly said.

“We urge landholders to remain vigilant where animal welfare is concerned and if anyone is unsure or would like further advice, they should call 1800 814 647.”

Landholder support is also being offered by DPI through both the Rural Assistance Authority and the Rural Resilience Program.

To apply for a concessional loan, grant or freight subsidy, contact the Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit

Local councils have also assisted through the erection of signs on recently-opened roads warning of potential wandering stock due to the loss of fences.

Affected landholders needing animal health assistance or anyone in the area who sees wandering livestock should call 1800 814 647.

Image: Fire aftermath on Ulan Road (supplied)

NSW CWA and Dunedoo fire support

posted Feb 15, 2017, 5:19 PM by Mel Heldon

Country Women’s Association of NSW and Dunedoo community join forces to support Sir Ivan fire victims

The Country Women’s Association (CWA) of New South Wales has today announced a commitment of up to $50,000 from its Disaster Relief fund, to assist the victims of the Sir Ivan fire with their immediate needs. 

The CWA also formed a committee with the community of Dunedoo to manage the many generous offers of assistance that are rolling in for people affected by fire.

All offers of help with be dealt with by the committee. 

Financial donations can be deposited into the CWA of NSW’s Disaster Relief Fund and will go directly to those in need. 

These donations will be tax deductible and can be made via the CWA of NSW website, or copy and paste this link:

According to CWA of NSW’s President, Annette Turner, more than 30 properties have been confirmed as destroyed but crop and stock loss assessment has only just begun and is escalating.

“Latest reports late yesterday from the Rural Fire Service indicated the 55,000 hectare fire was only just under control and many farmers have lost absolutely everything,” said Annette.

“Our Disaster Relief fund is for exactly these types of situations and we are very pleased to be able to assist. Food, clothing and financial donations are what is most needed at the moment and I encourage everyone who is able to to donate and support those affected,” she said.

Asbestos timeframe waived

posted Feb 15, 2017, 2:56 PM by Mel Heldon


SafeWork NSW is waiving the five-day asbestos removal work notification timeframe to allow immediate clean-up of asbestos debris from the weekend’s fierce bushfires that caused damage and destruction to properties, bushland and livestock across the State.


SafeWork NSW Executive Director, Peter Dunphy said under usual circumstances legislation required a five-day wait period before removing asbestos.


“This five-day timeframe allows for SafeWork to review the adequacy of safety systems and site arrangements,” Mr Dunphy said.

“SafeWork is fast-tracking assessments to ensure fire damaged asbestos can be removed as soon as possible.

“Residents are being urged to seek out information on the potential risks of being exposed to asbestos and how to safely manage asbestos when cleaning up after the fire,” he said.


“As firefighters and other emergency services workers assess the damage, and residents begin to repair or rebuild, we want to make people aware of the danger of asbestos.


“Fire affected homes may contain fire damaged asbestos materials which need to be safely managed and removed so that the health of the community is protected.”


SafeWork NSW recommends the following measures during the clean-up of fire-damaged buildings that contain asbestos:


·        Avoid disturbing asbestos materials and keep any asbestos debris wet until it can be safely removed.

·        Be aware of asbestos materials in your surroundings. A person conducting a business or undertaking demolition of residential premises must ensure that all asbestos that this likely to be disturbed by the demolition is identified and safely removed.

· has information on the types of asbestos materials commonly found in homes.

·        Use only a qualified asbestos removalist licensed by SafeWork to ensure asbestos is safely and properly removed.

·        Fire damaged asbestos materials can only be cleaned up by holders of a Class A asbestos removal licence. 

·        Licensed asbestos removalists can be found at 

·        All fire damaged asbestos material to be removed needs to be notified to SafeWork by the removalist.  The five day notification timeframe will be waived for premises affected by fire.


For more information on safely managing asbestos, contact 1800 Asbestos (1800 272 378) or visit

Power restoration from the fires

posted Feb 15, 2017, 2:50 PM by Mel Heldon

Thursday, 16 February 2017 - 9.30am

The overall number of households and businesses still impacted by an
unplanned power outage due to damage to the electricity network from the
bushfires was reduced to 102 by 7.05pm last night (Wednesday evening).
Please note that this number includes sites where unfortunately power
cannot be restored due to property damage and locations which maybe
infrequently used (sheds, holiday homes and like).

Yesterday crews had difficulty accessing a number of sites and earthmoving
equipment has now been sourced to overcome this.

Crews hope to be able to restore power to most customers in the Wollar /
Kains Flat areas and on the Hannahs Bridge to Kokoda / Kensington /
Karrella powerline today.

Yesterday morning (Wednesday) alone, crews replaced  80 power poles in four

Customers should contact 13 20 80 if they require further information.

Bush Fire Appeals

posted Feb 14, 2017, 9:14 PM by Craig Bassett   [ updated Feb 15, 2017, 1:24 PM ]

A number of official appeals are currently being organised in our region to help those affect by the Sir Ivan & Kains Flat fires.

Below are a number of ways you can help.

Warrumbungle Shire Mayor’s Bushfire Appeal (Sir Ivan Fire)

The Sir Ivan Fire has so far destroyed approximately 55,000 hectares of land as well as many homes and as at 14 February is still burning across a large area east of Dunedoo, and south of Coolah. The extent of the fire and the destruction it has caused is shocking, and the economic and emotional damage in terms of loss of property, stock and destruction of wildlife is enormous.

In order to ensure that donations will benefit the community directly, Warrumbungle Shire Council has set up a Warrumbungle Shire Mayor’s Bushfire Appeal (Sir Ivan Fire) and will be taking donations from members of the public who wish to assist residents who have suffered, and in many cases lost everything as a result of the fire. Money is the most useful donation because it provides both flexibility and choice to meet immediate needs. It also circulates in the affected community, stimulating faster recovery for the local economy.


Aid For Those Affected By The Sir Ivan and Kains Flat Fires (facebook page)


Dunedoo CWA

Dunedoo will operate in conjunction with The Country Women’s Association of NSW and all offers of help with be dealt with by the committee. Financial donations can be deposited in CWA of NSW Disaster Relief Fund – marked Sir Ivan Fire. (make sure you select Disaster Relief Fund). All donations given at this time will used to support those affected by the Sir Ivan fire. A tax deductible receipt will be emailed to you.

Clothing and food donations are being co-ordinated by Dunedoo Central School office staff (6375 1489) with details of where and how to deliver or collect. They will then contact the appropriate person to access the showground storage.

No furniture deliveries will be accepted at this time as those affected have nowhere to store them.

Short term accommodation is being organised and those requiring it should contact Sharon Nott on 0428 859509.

Water deliveries can be arranged by contacting Peter McClung on 0428 863219

Hay and grain deliveries are being co-ordinated by Hayden Rhodes and Sandy Cox from Delta Sullivans – contact 6375 1209 Hayden 0428 811774 or Sandy 0428 865299.

Counselling for fire victims is being arranged and Dunedoo Central School have a counsellor coming in for student assistance.

Townspeople are on hand to do basic things like clothes washing if needed. Dunedoo Central School will be organising this service.

Do you know someone who needs assistance? They or you (on their behalf) can contact Joy Beames (0428 751173) or Sam Barrass (0402 592436).


N S W Farmers Association

The NSW Farmers’ Merriwa Branch has joined forces with the Merriwa Show Society to establish the Merriwa-Sir Ivan Bushfire Appeal to assist affected landholders and residents.

The local farming community has quickly jumped on board, already donating cattle that will be fed at the Alexander Downs feedlot at Merriwa and then sold to raise money for the appeal.

Merriwa Branch Chair, Pat Ryan, said farmers from as far as Wagga Wagga have also offered cattle for the appeal.

“Alexander Downs feedlot has kindly offered to feed the cattle at no cost for up to 80 days and all the sale proceeds will go towards the appeal,” Mr Ryan said.

NSW Farmers’ President, Derek Schoen, said the Association has donated $5000 to kick start the appeal.

Donations can be made to the Merriwa- Sir Ivan Bushfire Appeal via the details below.

Account Name: NSW Farmers’ Association Natural Disaster Relief Fund BSB: 082-057 Account number: 18-215-7040 Bank: NAB


Gulgong IGA and Rylstone Foodworks

There is a trolley at both Gulgong IGA and Rylstone Foodworks where you can donate non perishable items for those affected.


Extreme heat health warning

posted Jan 12, 2017, 2:04 PM by Craig Bassett

High temperatures are expected during the coming days in rural NSW and the Western and Far Western NSW Local Health Districts are urging residents to follow some simple precautions to beat the heat, keep cool and stay safe.

Coordinator Environmental Health Services, Ingo Steppat, advises people of all ages to take care and avoid heat exhaustion by protecting themselves against the sun and heat.

“People need to be alert for the symptoms associated with heat exhaustion in themselves or others, especially young children and the elderly,” Ingo said.

“People need to make the most of shade, have access to well ventilated or air conditioned areas and stay inside during the hottest part of the day and ensure they drink plenty of water.”

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include nausea, faintness, and dizziness, loss of appetite, weakness, headache, and vomiting. Some may suffer from an increased body temperature or an increased breathing rate on extreme heat days. Don’t forget to check in on family and friends to ensure they are well. Heat exhaustion symptoms can occur up to 72 hours after an exposure to a heat event, so people are asked to stay alert.

People with existing health conditions such as heart problems, diabetes or hypertension should take extra care in the heat. If you are aware of anyone that might be at risk, who lives on their own, make a point of checking that they are okay.

Other people who may be at risk of heat exhaustion include outdoor workers, people in workplaces with inadequate cooling systems and those undertaking strenuous physical activities. If possible try to carry out the bulk of the activity during the coolest periods of the day.

Should you have concerns about your own health due to the heat, contact your GP or attend your local health facility.

If you come across someone who you believe requires immediate medical attention for Heat Impacts then call 000 without delay for an ambulance.

False information about waste costs Mudgee company and Director $188,000

posted Jan 9, 2017, 11:13 AM by Craig Bassett

A Mudgee company and its director were fined a total of $138,000 and ordered to pay costs of $50,000 by the Land and Environment Court in December 2016 after the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) prosecuted the company and Director for providing false or misleading information about waste.

Complete Asbestos Removal, carries out asbestos removal, demolition and waste transport work, and was engaged by Cobbora Holding Company Pty Ltd to demolish buildings on 12 properties in the Dunedoo area and to lawfully dispose of the resulting waste, including asbestos waste.

EPA Chair and CEO Barry Buffier said the EPA takes a dim view of companies and directors that provide false or misleading information about waste.

“Complete Asbestos Removal was required to provide Cobbora Holding Company with proof of disposal of the waste and reports to certify that all visible asbestos had been removed from each property.

“The director of the company created false asbestos clearance certificates and false weighbridge dockets purportedly recording the disposal of asbestos waste at the Mudgee and Dubbo waste facilities and provided these documents to Cobbora Holding Company. Complete Asbestos Removal later provided some of the false clearance certificates to the EPA during its investigation.

“Each clearance certificate contained forged signatures and made false representations about what checks had been carried out for asbestos at the Dunedoo properties.

“These checks are in place to ensure that asbestos is appropriately managed and disposed of, and to protect the community and environment.

“The EPA is sending a strong message to those who chose to do the wrong thing – you will be caught and the penalties are substantial,” Mr Buffier said.
Complete Asbestos Removal Pty Ltd was convicted and fined $24,000 for providing false or misleading information to the EPA and ordered to pay the EPA’s legal costs of $25,000. The company’s sole director was convicted of three offences of providing false or misleading information about waste to another company, fined a total of $114,000 and ordered to pay the EPA’s legal costs of $25,000.

Justice Preston found that although the evidence did not establish that any environmental harm was caused by the offences, it was foreseeable that harm could have occurred as a result of some of the offences.

All asbestos from the Dunedoo properties has now been lawfully disposed.
Providing false or misleading information about waste is an offence under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997. The matter went before the Land and Environment Court on 16 December 2016.

Blue-green algae alert for Burrendong Dam

posted Nov 24, 2016, 9:41 PM by Craig Bassett

The Central West Regional Algal Coordinating Committee (RACC) has issued a red level warning (high alert) for blue-green algae in Burrendong Dam.

A red alert level warning indicates that people should not undertake recreational activities where they may be coming into direct contact with the water such as swimming, as well as domestic uses including showering and washing.

Contact with the water may also pose a threat to livestock and pets.

Warning signs are positioned at key recreational areas and will remain in place while high levels of blue-green algae are present.

The species of blue-green algae identified are potentially toxic and may cause gastroenteritis in humans if consumed and skin and eye irritations after contact. Boiling the water does not remove algal toxins.

People are advised not to enter the water, not to drink untreated water or bathe in water drawn from the dam while this red alert level warning is in place.

Town water supplies remain unaffected and safe to drink.

Livestock owners are reminded to continue to check stock water supplies for blue-green algae and to remove stock from foreshores where surface scum is visible or blue-green algae are suspected. Blue-green algae usually appear as green paint-like scums on the water, near the edges, or as greenish clumps throughout the water. It makes the water appear dirty, green or discoloured and generally has a strong musty or earthy odour.

People should not eat mussels or crayfish from red level warning areas. Any fish caught should be cleaned and washed thoroughly in uncontaminated water and any internal organs disposed of before consumption.

Blue-green algae occur naturally and can reproduce quickly in favourable conditions where there is still or slow-flowing water, abundant sunlight and sufficient levels of nutrients.

It is not possible to predict how long the algae will remain at high levels. Regular monitoring will continue and the alert will be lifted as soon as the high levels of algae dissipate.

Information updates about blue-green algae blooms and red level warning areas can be obtained from the Regional Algal Coordinating Committee freecall Algal Information Hotline on 1800 999 457 or visit –

Blue-green algae red alert warning for Windamere Dam

posted Sep 21, 2016, 8:51 PM by 2MG Real FM

Blue-green algae red alert warning for Windamere Dam

The Central West Regional Algal Coordinating Committee has today issued a red level warning (high alert) for blue-green algae in Windamere Dam.

Monitoring by the NSW Office of Water has detected high numbers of potentially toxic blue-green algae at Windamere Dam.

Red level warning indicates that waters are unsuitable for recreational use or primary contact by domestic users and may also pose a threat to livestock.

The species of blue-green algae identified are potentially toxic and may cause gastroenteritis in humans if consumed and skin and eye irritations after contact. Boiling the water does not inactivate algal toxins.

Algal blooms can develop in a 24 hour period and can spread rapidly in a water body.

Existing blooms are also subject to prevailing winds and can be moved about over wide areas in a short time.

Local residents and visitors should avoid any water that appears bright green, where obvious green scums are present, or a distinctive odour is noticeable. Blue-green algae are usually very obvious, appearing as clumps or specs in the water and are often associated with a strong musty or earthy odour.

People are advised not to enter the water, and are further advised not to drink untreated water or bathe in water drawn from the water source whilst a red level warning is in place.

Landholders are advised to remove stock from the water foreshores as blue-green algae are known to cause stock illness or even death. Dogs are particularly susceptible as they ingest algae by licking their coats.

There is some evidence that small quantities of algal toxins may enter fish flesh when a bloom produces toxins. Any fish caught in water affected by a bloom should be cleaned and washed thoroughly in uncontaminated water and any internal organs disposed of before consumption.

People should not eat mussels, crayfish or the internal organs of fish from red alert areas.

Toxins might also taint fish flesh and when a bloom is toxic finfish should not be eaten.

This red level warning will remain in place until such time as the Central West Regional Algal Coordinating Committee advises that it has been lifted. The Office of Water and Water NSW will continue routine water quality monitoring of Windamere Dam.

Information updates about blue-green algae blooms and Red Level Warning areas can be obtained from the Regional Algal Coordinating Committee freecall Algal Information Hotline

on 1800 999 457 or visit -


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