Member for Gilmore, Fiona Phillips is pleased to announce that the Uniting Church Heatwave and Bushfire Haven in Batemans Bay is now operational.
This project to establish a new Heatwave and Bushfire Haven has been spearheaded by South Coast Health and Sustainability Alliance (SHASA) and the Uniting Church Batemans Bay. The project transforms old squash courts into a vital facility to safeguard the community during extreme weather events.
This project received two grants totalling $123,780 in federal funding through the Preparing Australian Communities program, and the Strengthening Rural Communities program (FRRR).
The project was also supported by significant contributions from the Uniting Church and SHASA who contributed $16,000 and $8,600 respectively.
This funding has been used to establish a whole-of-building emergency power supply, incorporating a large solar array, battery storage, and a backup generator. This ensures the facility’s continuous operation, even during power outages, when it is most needed.
“I saw firsthand how much our communities needed facilities like this during the bushfires. People were often stranded without appropriate facilities, and it just wasn’t good enough - I knew something had to be done,” Fiona said.
“Seeing what this has become is just incredible – the community banded together to transform an old sporting facility into a Bushfire Haven and I am so happy I was able to help with funding to get this project done,” Fiona continued.
The new Bushfire and Heatwave Haven will help keep the community safe during heatwaves, bushfires and other extreme weather events.
The projects impact goes beyond safety in the event of bushfires and extreme weather. The facility's upgrades will enable the church to continue providing essential services, including the food bank and access to showers and washing machines.
"I want to thank the Uniting Church and SHASA for all the work they have done getting this off the ground. This will undoubtedly serve as a lifeline for our community during challenging times," Fiona concluded.
Above: Member for Gilmore, Fiona Phillips MP with members of South Coast Health and Sustainability Alliance (SHASA) Kathryn Maxwell and Lisa Cornthwaite, and Uniting Church members Terence Corkin and Greg Thexton at the opening of the Uniting Church Heatwave and Bushfire Haven at Batemans Bay.