The people of Eurobodalla have really shone during some dark weeks, with bushfires burning across the shire: “It’s been a community risen up to support of each other”, says Eurobodalla Council’s manager of environmental services Deb Lenson.
“The community response has been tremendous,” she said.
However, reports of bad – even illegal – behaviour have trickled in. Ms Lenson encouraged the community to continue to work as a collective and call out bad behaviour when it pops up.
“Level 4 water restrictions are in effect now,” Ms Lenson said.
Under level 4, all household outdoor water use is banned except
· watering gardens with watering cans or buckets filled directly from the tap, and
· washing and rinsing private vehicles on grass with buckets filled directly from the tap, between 6-8am or 6-8pm.
Ms Lenson said there were no exemptions for domestic use.
“Of course, some of our less mobile community members will struggle with watering cans – this a great opportunity for family and friends to offer some assistance while having a catch-up and chat,” she said.
“Unfortunately, we’re getting reports of stolen ‘bore water in use’ signs. So we are recommending those with legal bores, put their signs in the nearest window to keep them safe from theft.
“Businesses must do their bit too, but those who rely on water for core operations can contact Council to see what arrangements can be made.”
Ms Lenson said the bushfires offered no excuses for illegal clearing of vegetation or dumping green waste on public reserves, which increases the risk of bushfire to the broader community.
“Where we can identify the origin of vegetation, we’re asking the dumper to remove it and dispose appropriately. So far, no fines have been issued although we will investigate blatant illegal vegetation removal – fines will be considered. We understand the community is concerned about fire risk but removal of vegetation to enhance views and benefit individuals at the expense of the broader community is not on,” Ms Lenson said.
“We’re also seeing illegal earthworks, which have the potential to impact negatively on our waterways with sediment and erosion.
“Finally, Council is seeing an increase in queries about overgrown properties, mostly due to concerns about fire risk. While Council is responsible for public health and safety, all concerns about fire hazard are referred to the Rural Fire Service for assessment.”
Ms Lenson said Council could not do this alone.
“We need your help. Please solve problems where you can by talking with your neighbours. People may be unaware their activity or lack of property maintenance is causing concern,” she said.
“Resources are stretched as government and non-government agencies are under pressure to respond to this natural disaster. When we work together, services can be better directed to emergency and recovery efforts.”
For more information about water restrictions, visit www.esc.nsw.gov.au/water. For more information on overgrown properties, visit https://www.esc.nsw.gov.au/council-services/public-environmental-health/public-health/overgrown-properties