Happy New Year to all our residents! I hope you had an enjoyable time with family and friends during the holiday break. Of course, the festive season and the New Year celebrations have been overshadowed by the terrible fires that have devastated large parts of NSW.
Ku-ring-gai Council and the community are getting behind efforts to support fire-affected regions and our emergency service volunteers. RFS brigades from Ku-ring-gai and Killara have been deployed to fire-affected regions for a number of weeks and several Council staff have fought the bushfires as RFS volunteers. Ku-ring-gai St John Ambulance brigade volunteers also deployed to Moruya on the South Coast to help at the evacuation centre.
Ku-ring-gai has joined the Bushfire Recovery Support Group which includes metropolitan councils coming together with the Office Local Government, Local Government NSW and the Office of Emergency Management to assist council disaster recovery and support operations in local communities.
As Mayor, it has been so heartening for me to see residents, businesses and community groups mobilising to organise fundraisers for those affected by the fires. For example, on Sunday 9 February the Killara community is holding a ‘Bark Run’ at the Claude Cameron Grove dog park for dogs and their families to raise funds for the Killara RFS brigade.
Alternatively, not-for-profit organisation GIVIT is coordinating donations of much-needed funds, goods and services in bushfire-affected communities across the State. GIVIT captures pledges of assistance online and then works with local councils, charities and community groups to match a donation to a recipient in need.
Our Council will continue to do whatever we can to support those in fire-affected areas as they try to recover from the dreadful events of these past weeks.
This year we will be celebrating Australia Day at Bicentennial Park West Pymble at the new time of 5pm to 9pm. Come down and enjoy highlights such as lamington decorating, a bush band, an indigenous smoking ceremony and Aussie rock band The Great Southern Land. There will be food and drink stalls so no need to worry about dinner!
For those seeking to cool off ahead of the celebrations, the Ku-ring-gai Fitness & Aquatic Centre next to the park is hosting a pool party between 2pm and 5pm.
More info is available on our website.