Blacktown City Council’s bushfire assistance acknowledged

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The NSW Office of Local Government has ranked Blacktown City Council as one of the most generous councils in helping fellow councils that were affected by the summer bushfires.

In all, 44 NSW councils offered help to bushfire affected councils with Blacktown City providing the second most assistance behind Sydney City Council.

Blacktown City Council’s assistance included building and maintenance, tree clearing, administration, communications, transport and construction equipment, and community services.

Blacktown City Mayor Tony Bleasdale OAM said, “Council committed in January to do whatever it could to assist the councils and communities that were devastated by the bushfires.

“Council committed up to $2 million for its bushfire response and recovery operations, including redeploying staff and resources to other NSW Councils that had been hard hit by the bushfires.”

Mayor Bleasdale and Blacktown City Deputy Mayor Julie Griffiths recently visited Nowra and handed over donations totalling $40,000 to assist victims of the South Coast bushfires.

The funds came from the Blacktown City Bushfire Appeal that raised more than $80,000 in cash donations and facilitated the distribution of more than 25 tonnes of non-perishable food, essential supplies and clothing to bushfire ravaged communities.

Mayor Bleasdale presented a donation of $30,000 to the Shoalhaven Mayor’s Bushfire Relief Fund.

Shoalhaven Mayor Amanda Findley said, “We are grateful to the people of Blacktown for their generosity in supporting our region as we work to emerge from this bushfire season and its impacts in a better, stronger and more resilient position.”

The Shoalhaven Mayor’s Bushfire Relief Fund has distributed nearly $260,000 directly to bushfire affected residents in the Shoalhaven.

“We make sure the payments go to individuals and trades people who have been directly impacted and we are committed to providing residents with ongoing support for the long term,” Mayor Findley said.

Mayor Bleasdale also handed over $5,000 donations to the Milton and Nowra branches of the Country Women’s Association (CWA).

“Those funds will be used to provide direct assistance to families in the worst affected areas with more than 80% of the Shoalhaven region devastated by the bushfires.

“Last month we presented a donation of $40,600 to the not-for-profit organisation GIVIT.”

GIVIT is working in conjunction with the NSW Joint Recovery Task Force, linking requests for assistance for bushfire affected families and communities from trusted organisations, with the donations of money, goods and services.

“GIVIT has informed Council that the donation from the Blacktown City Bushfire Appeal has already bought 15 generators to provide electricity to properties still without permanent power supplies,” Mayor Bleasdale said.

Photo from left: Stephen Dunshea, Shoalhaven CEO; Shoalhaven Mayor Amanda Findley, Suzanne Carter, Nowra CWA; Blacktown City Deputy Mayor Julie Griffiths, Mayor Tony Bleasdale OAM, Blacktown Carole Windley, Milton CWA; seated Julie Morris, Nowra CWA, and Jenny Coulston, Milton CWA.

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