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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Narooma Rocks Van makes a star appearance at Sydney Markets

The little South Coast oyster van with a big story to tell received a boost this week with the launch of a smart, black Toyota Hilux at Sydney Fish Markets.

The van, and now a vehicle to tow it, are an initiative of Narooma Rocks, the not-for-profit company that delivers the Narooma Oyster Festival on the shores of Wagonga Inlet each year in May.

Narooma Rocks will now be able to activate their plans to deliver the unique flavors of south coast rock oysters to food and wine events around Australia, raising the profile of Narooma and Eurobodalla as a year round destination. It has all been made possible with thanks to a $60,000 grant from Business Council Australia's bushfire recovery charity BizRebuild, and follows their $55,000 grant earlier this year which funded the purchase and fit out of the van.

BizRebuild chair Sir Peter Cosgrove and Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott were on hand to celebrate the occasion.

"Australians have faced a challenging 18 months with fires, floods and travel restrictions - but we must try to avoid disaster fatigue and remember many businesses still need our support," Sir Peter said.

"We're hearing incredible stories of resilience from communities all across the country and Narooma Rocks are one of the many businesses who have sought assistance through BizRebuild,' Sir Peter said.

"When disaster strikes - local businesses owners simply want to get back on their feet as quickly as possible to recover and that's why our direct and immediate assistance is so critical in supporting local communities to rebuild after floods and fires."

Ms Westacott said: "Businesses are the glue that keeps communities together, so supporting them through tough times is critical.

"BizRebuild will continue to work across the country to ensure disaster struck small businesses and communities can bounce back even stronger," Ms Westacott said.

The launch was the maiden voyage for the Narooma Rocks entourage, who were thrilled to receive waves and smiles as they drove along George Street in Sydney's CBD on Wednesday afternoon.

"We felt a little bit like rock stars, if you'll pardon the pun," said Cath Peachey, chair of Narooma Rocks.

"I can't overstate the importance of this support and investment from BizRebuild," she said. "Recovery is a slow process but BizRebuild was there immediately to provide practical and on the ground assistance to small, local businesses who were suffering."

Projects include a pop-up mall at Mogo which allowed businesses to support their community and generate an income after the main street was devastated by fires, along with grants across the region for infrastructure and assets and personnel to assist with planning and delivery of projects.

For Narooma Rocks, the funding has already created one job and Mrs Peachey said more jobs will come as food and wine events quickly return to calendars.

"It gave our community and businesses time to catch our breaths, confidence in our future and comfort that organisations like the BCA were there to help."

"It was a dreadful, dreadful time and the effects on our community, country and wildlife will be felt for a very long time," Mrs Peachey said.

"Now we are well on our way to recovery and ready to celebrate the remarkable resilience and charm of Rock Oyster Country and its people."

Rock oysters are indigenous to New South Wales, with each estuary, season and even each farmer imbuing a unique blend of flavors found nowhere else in Australia or indeed the world.

The Narooma Oyster Festival will be held on the water in the heart of Rock Oyster Country on May 6 & 7, 2022.

Above: Lindsay Brown (director Narooma Rocks director) with Belinda Whiteman (Narooma Rocks Manager Premium Dining Experiences), Sir Peter Cosgrove (BizRebuild Chair) and Jennifer Westacott (Chief Executive Business Council Australia) Cath Peachey (Narooma Rocks chair) and David Maidment (Director Narooma Rocks).


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