“It’s this sort of experience that makes you realise what a real commu

Kempsey Shire Council

Maria Doherty

What happens when flood waters ravage local communities? Everyone pitches in to help and Maria saw firsthand how strong the community spirit in Kempsey is.

This week is Local Government Week, which is a week dedicated to the important work councils do for their communities.

To acknowledge our committed staff, we are sharing their stories from the March flood event and recovery.

In the wake of the flood event, Maria was asked to assist with managing flood waste for the community as well as coordinating contractors and Council waste staff to deliver and collect skip bins to areas that were impacted.

“Our Council landfill was flooded itself and just couldn’t cope with the amount of waste that was generated by the floods and we ended up using an old waste site at Frederickton. Then we had to ensure that large trucks could get in and out of the site easily, that we could record what was coming from where and also sort out as much of the rubbish as we could.”

A standout moment for Maria was seeing the emergency team brought together to address the floods and to help the community.

“The army and SES had a huge interactive map up, which showed the whole catchment area and how much area was impacted. It was quite a sombre site to see so much of our area underwater and townships cut off.”

Maria notes the residents of Kempsey as truly inspiring, explaining even though there were residents who had lost practically everything, their community spirit remained strong.

“Residents would just roll up their sleeves and get on with the clean-up effort. It’s this sort of experience that makes you realise what a real community is all about.”

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