We were evacuated from our home at Yellowpinch on Friday just before the fires swept through.
Not knowing what we were coming home to on Saturday, we drove down our driveway to find our home still standing.
It was totally surrounded by burnt out bush and the fire had come right up to the house on one side.
We would like to thank the RFS.
We know that without their help and tireless efforts our home probably wouldn’t be standing today.
They came back several times during the day on Saturday to make sure things were okay.
Thanks again for all your hard work not only at our property, but all the surrounding area.
Chris and Christine Orman
Safe from harm
At 2.30 in the afternoon last Friday, a police visit alerted staff at Potoroo Palace Native Animal Education Sanctuary to the impending danger of the approaching fire and given 20 minutes to evacuate the premises.
Everyone sprang into action and immediately began the animal evacuation.
Staff rescued the animals they could and rendezvoused in Merimbula anxiously awaiting news of the fate of Potoroo Palace and organising overnight accommodation for our evacuated animals.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to the brave and selfless members of the Rural Fire Service.
Your efforts kept the animals and everything at Potoroo Palace safe and free from harm.
Staff and volunteers returned to Potoroo Palace on Saturday morning not knowing what to expect and fearing the worst.
Imagine our relief at walking around and finding no signs of injury to any of our animals or any damage to anything within Potoroo Palace.
We were all amazed and oh so very thankful.
Everyone at Potoroo Palace would also like to acknowledge the support shown by local businesses and members of the public.
We were all touched by the genuine concern shown for the safety and wellbeing of our animals.
The offers of help were many and varied, as were the needs of our evacuated animals.
Thank you to everyone who helped us to help our animals.
The huge number of messages of encouragement and support for Potoroo Palace has been wonderful and helps reinforce our belief that Potoroo Palace truly belongs to our community.
Thank you all again.
Potoroo Palace staff
Sorry Bill Johnston, but I have no time to accept your invite to bone up on climate research produced in 1957.
I’m too busy trying to protect my property from the increased risk of severe weather events.
And given the multitude of terrible fire events we have just experienced across Australia, with many more to come over this extraordinarily hot summer, I think your advice is insensitive.
People are losing their homes, their lives, their animals.
Wildlife is suffering.
These tragedies are avoidable if anthropogenic climate change is tackled.
Whether we choose to act, and how, does not change the fact that we created this disaster.
I will continue to take my advice from scientists.
I would advise anyone who is concerned about their own risk of climate-related threats to do the same.
Ask your insurance company, ask your children, ask an environmental science graduate or a professor.
It’s time for us to be serious, to be rational and to educate ourselves.
The stakes are rising with the sea levels.
People who would rather profess their own ill-advised theories are, of course, free to do so, but please first consider the people who are suffering the consequences of the realities you are choosing to deny.
Can I ask the powers that be, why are fireworks still allowed in this country during this most fire-prone of seasons – or for that matter any time?
They have been banned from private use for years, so when will larger bodies have to follow suit?
I’m not a killjoy, but surely modern technology could produce spectacular visual displays over our harbours to celebrate the new year and Australia Day without polluting the air and water.
I’ve also been old that China uses children, with their smaller fingers, to make these fireworks with resultant accidents and deaths.
Is it all really worth it?
Oh what a night!
The Bega Country Club at Tarraganda came to life recently when local movie stars Will and Russell launched their movie, All Aussie Adventure “Farm Handover”.
Out front the movie stars were on hand to meet and greet the guests and walk the red carpet with them to join the crowds inside the clubhouse, where one could look out the windows and view the big old trees, spreading their branches like fairy wings over the edge of the luscious green fairways so beautifully cared for by Adrian and his team.
The evening was formal and the young and not so young are to be congratulated on their attire, all looking gorgeous, what an array of beauty we have in our valley.
The whole night was a credit to these young men and their families.
The movie was great, the food was superb and these talented young people also supplied the music for the night’s entertainment.
Will and Russell donated the proceeds of the evening to the local fire brigade and Can Assist.
Make sure you buy a copy of the movie.
Shortly before Christmas I collapsed on Church St in Bega.
I would like to thank the policeman who rescued me and waited with me until the ambulance he called had arrived.
I didn’t get his name, but I’m very thankful.
I would also like to thank Dr Simon Bass for his treatment while I was in the ambulance, the wonderful ambulance service and all the staff at the Bega District Hospital.
It is instructive to read the comments made by some present councillors prior to their election.
Around August 2012, local papers asked them questions and printed answers.
One question was: “Where do you stand on big developments proposed in the shire?” (BDN, 24/8/12).
Mayor Bill Taylor: “I am in principle opposed to major corporate supermarket development in small towns such as Bermagui. In principle my approach to development is that we have a special opportunity in this shire to maintain a balance between development and conservation of our natural and human assets.”
Cr Sharon Tapscott: “I am not opposed to development, but it must be appropriate for the area and it must be demonstrated that the community actually wants it. The council has a responsibility to manage the predatory behaviour of multi-nationals so they do not impact on existing local small businesses and every effort must be made to encourage small business to grow and develop.”
Cr Ann Mawhinney: “...we need to exercise healthy caution about big developments’ claims of ‘new’ jobs. Proprietors and employees of local businesses often suffer losses as a result, and profits don’t remain in the community.”
Cr Keith Hughes: “The Greens will always put the interests of the community and environment ahead of developers. I voted against McDonald’s DA and would do so again.”
Cr Kristy McBain: “There have been two large Woolworths complexes recently built in Tura Beach and Bega. I see no need for a further large-scale development in such close proximity at Bermagui.”
One could add to that sentence that Narooma also has a large Woolworths and that in Victoria Woolworths has now introduced large hardware retail stores.
We respectfully remind our councillors of the above answers and ask them to request council staff, who are working for us all and not supermarket chains, to revise their evaluation of the Woolworths DA.
On ABC radio (17/1), Cr Taylor commented about the loud anti-DA opinions expressed by the large gallery present at Wednesday’s BVSC meeting - “....unfortunately, feeling is not a legal concept”.
We ask what is the legal concept that deals with enacting the wishes of the majority?
And what are the legal concepts that are clearly recommended in environmental and social planning documents.
Will those who are paid to do this job please find out and tell us?
Professionals “in the trade” have quoted to us that BVSC has appeared to start from a basis of approval for this DA, rather than completing an objective analysis, which would include the total needs of the community.
Back to work please - and will all councillors please vote for and with community wishes - as they have stated above - and as requested by an 11-1 ratio in Bermagui and clearly reject this DA.