Central Coast Council is this week partnering with the Australian Resilience Corps and Disaster Relief Australia to support on ground disaster resilience action on the Central Coast.
The Australian Resilience Corps (The Corps) is a national volunteer network established by Minderoo Foundation and NRMA Insurance, working to grow Australia’s largest resource of disaster resilience volunteers to help communities prepare for fires and floods before they occur.
This week, The Corps is deploying volunteers across the country to help communities prepare for fires and floods, following a year of successive extreme weather events.
The Central Coast Council is partnering in the initiative with three Central Coast sites being targeted for the on-ground work being undertaken by over 100 volunteers. The sites are Shelly and Killcare beaches and Kincumba Mountain.
Central Coast Council Director Environment and Planning Dr Alice Howe said the initiative is welcomed as it highlights the importance of preparing for natural disasters ahead of time and extends Council’s volunteering program, which provides opportunities for local residents to become involved in bush regeneration, habitat restoration and enhancing the resilience of the natural environment.
“The 100 volunteers from The Corps are giving their time over a three-day period this week, working under supervision of trained Disaster Relief Australia personnel, to assist our community to build resilience for future fire and floods. The initiative helps add value to the significant ongoing contributions of the 600+ volunteers already actively participating in Council’s Environmental Volunteering Program.
“During their time on the ground at Shelly and Killcare beaches, the volunteers from The Corps have been removing weeds and litter from coastal dunes, to better stabilise and enhance natural dune systems and the biodiversity that they support.
“As with other parts of our community, which have been placed under pressure from various disaster impacts, our dune systems have been placed under significant pressure from coastal erosion.
Dr Howe said that today, at Kincumba Mountain, volunteers are undertaking maintenance of fire trails, including removal of accumulated sediment, minor reshaping of drainage lines and pruning of encroaching vegetation, as well as removing weeds from areas of native vegetation.
“Kincumba Mountain is a very important asset during natural disasters as it houses a telecommunications tower, which is a vital asset for broadcasting during emergencies. It is also rich in biodiversity and Aboriginal heritage sites, which also need to be protected from the threats of natural disasters”
Nadine De Santis, Australian Resilience Corps Project Lead, said volunteers play a pivotal role in helping their communities adapt to and prepare for a changing climate and the natural threats that come with it.
“If we can lift the resilience of communities across the country, we can reduce the risk of devastation from another Black Summer Fire or East Coast flooding event,” Ms De Santis said.
“We can’t do this without the help of volunteers.”
Council Administrator Rik Hart said he was pleased Council is a partner in this very important initiative.
“Extreme weather events are happening more frequently and with greater severity. This has been very evident here on the Central Coast, with devastating results for many in the community.
“We are in total agreement with Disaster Relief Australia and the Australian Resilience Corps that this is the time to focus on resilience to enable communities to break out of the cycle of response and recovery. We need to change the culture in our country and make year on year preparation the norm.”
To find out what you can do to Get Ready for natural disasters go to Central Coast Council’s Disaster Dashboard: www.emergency.centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/dashboard/overview
For information about the Australian Resilience Corps visit www.resiliencecorps.org.au