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Mayors Bushfire Appeal Fund Update

After the devastation of the Sir Ivan fire in February this year, Council set up The Mayors Bushfire Appeal Fund to provide direct assistance to the victims of the fire, as it did in 2013 with the Wambelong Fire.

 

Wambelong Fire

The huge support from the community in 2013 saw the last Mayors Bushfire Appeal for the Wambelong fire raise an astonishing amount of $865,000. An Advisory Committee was created which was made up of the Mayor, Peter Shinton and representatives from charities (BlazeAid, Centacare, ADRA, St Vincent de Paul, Barnados and DPI Fodder Drive). The purpose of the advisory committee was to oversee and to help distribute all the funds.

 

Council staff members spent many hours working on the fund and were on the committee only as advisors and had no voting rights. At no stage were costs taken out by Council for all their time spent working on the fund.

 

Funds were dispersed amongst different programs, projects and local organisations, meeting the needs of the Wambelong “fire affected residents”. Some examples include;

    • Home dislocation
    • Roadside and internal fencing materials
    • Home re-establishment
    • Shed rebuild
    • BlazeAid Projects

Over the past 4 years those residents that were directly impacted were kept up to date with regular correspondence and engagement from Council and the Advisory Committee.

In November 2016 the Advisory Committee decided that they be wound up and the remaining funds ($223,000) be allocated as follows.

  • Firstly that funds be put aside for an economic study of the fire’s effect on the community

  • Secondly that the remaining funds be evenly distributed across the recipients of the following funding categories based on the following percentages

      • Home Dislocation                     7.5%
      • Home Re-Establishment        50.0%
      • Shed Rebuild                          15.0%
      • Fencing Funding                     25.0%
      • Recovery Contribution              2.5 

The fund only wound up in January 2017 due to many factors. One vital factor was to give time to the victims to recover from the horrific event and time to rebuild instead of rushing them into something they weren’t ready for.

 

The Sir Ivan Fire Appeal

To date, the Sir Ivan Fire Mayors Fund has raised almost $180,000. An Advisory Committee has once again been established to help distribute the funds as needed. The Committee consists of the Mayor Peter Shinton and other community representatives from St Vincent de Paul (Coolah and Dunedoo), CWA Dunedoo, Caring for Coolah, Anglican Church, BlazeAid and the Department of Primary Industries. Each of the charities (6) as well as the Mayor has one vote each.

 

The General Manager, Steve Loane, and Director of Corporate and Community Services, Michael Jones, attend the meetings only in an advisory capacity and do not have any voting rights. Again, no fees or commission are paid to Council, with 100% of funds and interest earned disbursed to charities as determined by the advisory committee. Additionally the advisory committee operates under strict governance guidelines as determined by the ATO.

All of the funds raised will be given to charities to disperse directly to the fire affected individuals.

 

To date the advisory committee has agreed to the following disbursements.

  • $40,000 to BlazeAid to cover catering costs for Volunteers

  • $10,000 to be allocated to potable water program being for the cartage. (Water is supplied by Council at no cost)

  • $20,000 to be reserved for Community renewal / contingency

  • $15,000 to St Vincent de Paul – Coolah

  • $15,000 to St Vincent de Paul – Dunedoo

  • $15,000 to Anglican Church Coolah

  • $15,000 to CWA Dunedoo

 

Why give to the Mayors Fund over the other charities?

  • Funds are allocated to partner charities who are experts in dealing with privacy issues

  • Individuals are not a matter for the committee

  • 100% of funds go to fire affected people

  • Council does not charge any administrations costs/fees

  • The fund supports residents across the entire fire area

  • The fund and advisory committee operates on a long term perspective and is able to identify any emerging issues over time. In some cases years. If allocated funds are not fully used they can be allocated to emerging issues for fire effected people and communities

  • The fund is administered under strict governance and due diligence guidelines from the ATO

  • Donations over $2.00 to the fund are tax deductible. You will be issued with a tax invoice to claim on your annual tax return

If you would like to make a donation to the fund you can by making a payment over the counter at our Coolah or Coonabarabran office or by EFT in the account details listed below.

Account Name: Warrumbungle Shire Council Mayor’s Bushfire Appeal

BSB: 062-524

Account: 10133579

Bank: Commonwealth Bank

 

For more information, please contact Council on 6849 2000.

 

Last Updated: 02 May 2017

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