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A heartening response to bushfires in our region

Thursday, 16 January 2020

As our nation battles some of its worst ever bushfires, it’s been heartening to see the overwhelming response at a grassroots level towards recovery and rebuilding in these affected communities. Australians have been pouring their hearts out through the donation of funds and goods to our fire services and the ravaged towns they have worked so hard to protect. I watched in astonishment as one particular fundraiser on Facebook skyrocketed to more than $40 million. That generosity has extended to our Borough with a number of local businesses conducting sales and auctions with all proceeds going directly to bushfire relief appeals.

It’s no wonder, given the extraordinarily high percentage of volunteers in our towns, that many residents have also chosen to open their wallets and contribute to assist those less fortunate. The Borough is full of people who want to help in any way they can – it’s in their nature. I must give a special shout-out to the Queenscliff CFA, whose members and trucks have played a significant role in fighting fires all across the eastern states over the past month and more. A commendable effort indeed.

Dealing with extreme heat
Locally, we’ve had an increased number of days of extreme heat this summer and there’s likely to be a few more before the season is out. Staying safe in the heat is just as much about checking on others as it is looking after yourself. The Borough population’s median age is 60, and as we get older the body struggles to regulate heat as well as it used to.

If you have an elderly neighbour close by, it’s a courtesy to check in on them during those scorching summer days and offer to lend a hand if they require help. When it’s hot, drink plenty of water, stay cool and seek out air-conditioned buildings. Plan your day ahead and schedule any necessary activities in the coolest part of the day. For more information, visit our website: queenscliffe.vic.gov.au/heatwave

Recent tree failures
The persistent heat and high winds has also been a contributing factor towards a number of trees failing over the last month or so. One tree in the Avenue of Honour received a significant split which forced its removal just before Christmas, while another further up the road required significant work due to failing limbs. Any decisions made on the future of a tree after its immediate failure are always made only after consultation with a professional arborist.

We’re on Facebook
Finally, if you haven’t yet visited the Borough’s brand new Facebook page, please take a look and give our page a ‘like’ to stay up to date with the latest news, works and information from Council offices. We’re thrilled with the overwhelmingly receptive response the page has already received and look forward to your ongoing participation.

To join the Mayor and Councillors for the first Ordinary Meeting of Council for 2020, be at the Queenscliff Town Hall at 7:00pm on Thursday 23 January.

All the best,

Cr Ross Ebbels
Mayor, Borough of Queenscliffe