Blue Mountains City Council hosted a bushfire recovery meeting for residents of Mount Tomah, Mount Wilson, Mount Irvine, Bell and Berambing on Saturday, January 11.
More than 100 community members attended the meeting at Mt Tomah Botanic Gardens, after 16 homes in the Upper Mountains were lost during bushfires in December. Another 30 properties were damaged.
Blue Mountains City Council emergency and recovery teams have visited the villages numerous times since Grose Valley bushfires devastated the area on Saturday, December 21. Mayor Mark Greenhill and council officers also met with Bell residents on January 2 and attended a community recovery meeting with Hawkesbury Council, for Bilpin residents, on January 9.
"Unprecedented bushfires have devastated our nation. They have devastated our community and, no more than you, who are in this room today," the mayor said on Saturday. "We are gathered here today to start the journey of recovery with you.
"We know that this community is resilient. But we also know, from the 2013 bushfires in the Blue Mountains, that the recovery process will be long."
Blue Mountains City Council has a bushfire recovery committee, and a dedicated recovery manager, who can prioritise calls for assistance.
Council has also joined the Greater Sydney Regional Recovery Group with Hawkesbury, Lithgow and Wollondilly councils as well as a range of state government agencies.
"Practically, Blue Mountains City Council has so far provided nearly 188,000 litres of potable water to our affected households in the Upper Mountains, provided fuel for generators, buried livestock, completed about 800 tree assessments on public land, assisted with waste needs and granted free concessions," said mayor Greenhill.
"We have also established the Blue Mountains Bushfire Mayoral Relief Fund to help our residents recover and rebuild. This registered fund allows the community to assist our local residents in their time of need. Donations are tax deductible."
For more information on how to donate go to bmcc.nsw.gov.au/mrf
Any community members affected by bush fires in this area, but unable to make the recovery meeting at Mount Tomah on Saturday should download the Bush Fire Recovery Guidefrom council's website.
Photo: Residents of Mount Tomah, Mount Wilson, Mount Irvine, Bell and Berambing attended Council's Community Recovery Meeting on Saturday. Mayor Mark Greenhill addresses the community. Credit: Sarah Hyde.