Mallacoota Surf Life Saving Club has been announced as a 2020 Bushfire Recovery Grant recipient.
The local organisation that provides year-round local emergency response capabilities, along with awareness programs and annual community events, has received $50,000, enabling it to create a purpose-built facility with other local emergency services.
In January 2019, an out of control bushfire from Wingan River tore through the town of Mallacoota, forcing its 1000 residents and 3000 visitors to flee to the beach, where they were evacuated by Navy vessels. More than 100 properties and thousands of hectares of bushland were lost, with access to the town restored a month later.
The club’s first aid caravan was also incinerated, destroying uniforms, flags, signs, first-aid supplies and equipment. The caravan and its contents were uninsured, as the insurance costs had been prohibitively expensive for the club. Losing this storage space has directly affected the club’s ability to operate and complete its emergency management.
Armed with the $50,000 Bushfire Recovery Grant, Mallacoota Surf Life Saving Club is in a much stronger position as the region anticipates the 2020/21 bushfire season.
With the construction of a purpose-built facility, the club will be able respond to emergency situations, hold incident management team meetings, have appropriate storage, hot and cold water, as well as a bathroom and change room for their members. “As the only emergency services present at the beach areas we patrol, our first-aid skills and equipment can be lifesaving in the event of an emergency. Having access to an incident management, storage, and training area is vital for our club to meet its requirements as an emergency service,” president of Mallacoota Surf Life Saving Club, Simon Berry, said.
“Mallacoota has faced “catastrophic fire risk” conditions for the last three summers and is likely to do so again in future years. A facility which provides services to locals, tourists and support during natural disasters is a major asset to the community. “Following COVID-19 restrictions, our community has been further isolated and financially impacted. Given the very difficult circumstances we have faced over the last seven months, we very much appreciate this grant and support in helping us get back on our feet.”
Mallacoota Surf Life Saving Club has received a $50,000 Bushfire Recovery Grant enabling it to create a purpose-built facility with other local emergency services. (PS)