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National recognition for Bega shire's recovery

Council’s Bushfire Recovery, Rebuilding and Resilience Program has been recognised on the national stage; announced this week as the winner of the NSW Local Government category in the Resilient Australia Awards.

The program will now be considered for the national award against the Local Government winners from the other states and territories.

Bega Valley Shire Council Acting Chief Executive Officer, Anthony McMahon said the award recognised the dedication of Council staff and their commitment to working with the community on the recovery journey.

“It is terrific to see the tireless work of so many people right across our organisation acknowledged through this award,” Mr McMahon said.

“Led by our previous General Manager, Leanne Barnes, our recovery effort focused on the fundamental principle that people matter, with the goal of building back better to strengthen our community’s resilience to future disasters.

“We worked closely with the NSW Government to set up the Bega Valley Local Bushfire Recovery Committee and the Recovery, Resilience and Rebuilding Program, and have walked alongside those impacted on their recovery journeys, which for many are still ongoing.

“Looking ahead, we are acutely aware that disaster events will continue to occur; and we are focused on improving disaster preparedness, and placing relief, resilience and recovery at the core of our business.”

Bega Valley Shire Mayor, Cr Russell Fitzpatrick said the shire has been the most disaster impacted in the state over the past few years, with the Tathra and District, Yankees Gap and Black Summer bushfires, multiple flooding events and the pandemic challenging us at an unprecedented level.

“It is in the most difficult circumstances that a community’s character and strength is put to the ultimate test, and what has been achieved here is nothing short of remarkable,” Cr Fitzpatrick said.

“We certainly still have a long way to go in our collective recovery journey, however recognition such as this reaffirms we are on the right track.

“I’d like to congratulate Council staff on their dedication and commitment to supporting the community throughout these challenges.”

Now in their 22nd year, the Resilient Australia Awards celebrate and promote initiatives that build whole of community resilience to disasters and emergencies around Australia, as well as images capturing resilience in action. The awards recognise collaboration and innovative thinking across all sectors.

The Resilient Australia Awards are sponsored by the Australian Government in partnership with the states and territories and managed by the Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience.