Department of Human Services

Cudlee Creek Fire Recovery Newsletter Issue 5 - 23 March 2020

From the Recovery Coordinator

This is a challenging time for many. The advice from government in response to the COVID-19 virus has made us all rethink the way we interact within the recovery space.

I wish to reassure you that we are still here to support you during this time.

The Lobethal Recovery Centre will remain open until otherwise directed by authorities and has taken additional measures to ensure the welfare of all visitors and staff.

These measures include:

  • asking that if you feel unwell or have a fever that you seek medical advice and consider the health of others before you visit the recovery centre.
  • increasing the distance between chairs in the waiting area to at least one metre
  • having the centre professionally cleaned daily
  • closing the children’s corner
  • suspending home visits by the recovery outreach team - however those members are now increasing the telephone outreach calls
  • we have reduced the number of Red Cross and Disaster Ministries volunteers.

Outside of the recovery centre we have suspended community meetings, face to face recovery committee meetings and community reference group meetings.

You would no doubt be aware that almost all external community events have been cancelled, postponed or moved online as webinars. Please see the events section in this newsletter for more details.

In the absence of community recovery meetings, these newsletters and the Cudlee Creek Fire Recovery Facebook group are more valuable than ever in bringing you important information, including who is in the recovery centre each week. If you are on Facebook I strongly encourage you to join our group to stay across the latest updates by visiting Facebook and selecting ‘Groups’ to the left of the page.

For a complete round-up of recovery information you can also visit the Cudlee Creek fire recovery page.

If you would like more information on COVID-19, SA Health has a dedicated page with useful information including frequently asked questions. To find out more visit the SA Health community information page or contact the National Coronavirus Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

Notwithstanding all that is happening, I want to reassure you the recovery support process is continuing and I encourage you to phone me on 0418 258 304 or send me an email.

Alex Zimmermann, Local Recovery Coordinator
0418 258 304

New $10,000 business grant

The South Australian and Australian governments have announced a new Small Business Bushfire Support Grant of up to $10,000 to support eligible small businesses (including primary producers) who experienced significant loss of income due to the fire.

Apply and find out more

The Government is in the process of changing some of the conditions around the $500,000 concessional loans and $50,000 working capital loans in an effort to better support small businesses.

We will keep you updated on these details as they come to hand.

Business grant information and guidelines

Support with waste removal

Bushfire waste removal continues apace, coordinated by Green Industries SA (GISA).

If you have not already registered your waste needs, fill out the registration form.

If you had bushfire related waste (excluding green waste) removed before 23 February and have already paid for that waste removal, please retain evidence and documentation and contact Local Recovery Coordinator Alex Zimmermann on 0418 258 304 for more information.

Green Industries SA clean up information

Weekend disposal of CCA posts

It can be difficult to make it to a transfer station if you work full time. In a 'once-off' opportunity Green Industries SA (GISA) has arranged for the commercial transfer station in Woodside to receive CCA (permapine) posts and poly pipe on a weekend.

You can dispose of your unwanted CCA posts and poly pipe at the commercial transfer station located at 28 Henry Street, Woodside at the following times:

  • Saturday 18 April, 8am – 2pm
  • Sunday 19 April, 8am – 2pm

Please note you will require a voucher which can be collected from the Recovery Centre. If you’re not able to get to the centre please call Mike Haywood from GISA on 0407 400 071 or email Mike Haywood.

Rural Business Support

Rural Business Support (RBS) has welcomed two additional rural financial counsellors to its team to provide more support for eligible farmers and growers after the bushfires.

Tim Modra, a former Australian Defence Force Captain with a Masters in Agribusiness Management, and David Stanton, a fifth-generation farmer and local CFS member, are based out of the RBS Murray Bridge office.

The Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS) is a free, independent and confidential service that can assist eligible businesses to develop and implement plans to recover from financial challenges.

Rural financial counsellors provide free, independent and confidential support with:

  • preparing for talks with insurance companies, banks and lenders
  • preparing cash flow forecasts to meet financial obligations
  • accessing other professional services
  • developing and implementing plans to return to ‘normal’ operations.

For more information, or to make a time to talk with a rural financial counsellor, phone Rural Business Support on 1800 836 211 or visit the Rural Business Support website.

Staying connected

Like many of you, I have been thinking about how we can stay connected if we’re isolated. The good news is we have a great range of online options.

You can stay informed through our Cudlee Creek Fire Recovery Facebook group, you can join through the SA Recovery Facebook page.

I invite you to share your recovery needs, and your ideas for the future, by completing the brief Resilience and Recovery Survey on the Adelaide Hills Council engagement portal.

We really value your input and hope to hear from as many people as possible. This portal is also the place for you to ask questions or post any other ideas for your community.

We are looking into other virtual solutions such as whiteboards and meetings, as we want to make sure that we still hear from you and that you can hear from us as well.

I have seen some truly heartening community initiatives such as people leaving notes in neighbours’ post boxes to let them know they are thinking of them, and offering to help with tasks such as a quick run to the shops or a phone call to check in. I have a glut of zucchinis if anyone would like some!

If you have ideas about other ways we can stay connected and support each other, including non-digital ideas, we would love to hear from you.

You are always welcome to email me at or phone me on 0437 123 904.

Miranda Hampton
Community Recovery Officer

Tracking the bushfire clean up

Stay up to date with the progress of the bushfire clean-up in your area by checking out the clean-up schedule on the Green Industries SA website.

The map will be updated weekly, in response to resident feedback.

The map will available at the following locations:

  • Lobethal Recovery Centre
  • Lobethal Bakery
  • Cudlee Creek Tavern
  • Harrogate Soldier's Memorial Hall
  • Adelaide Hills Council libraries and service centres
  • Mt Barker District Council Civic Centre
  • Mt Barker Community Library

Visit the Green Industries SA bushfire clean up page to see the most up to date information, and call Mike Haywood to discuss scheduling on 0407 400 071.

Collection of fencing wire and plastic tanks

Do you have fire-damaged rolls of fencing wire or plastic tanks? Green Industries SA (GISA) can assist with FREE collection.

If you’re interested please email Mike Haywood with your address, and details of what needs to be collected. Wire will need to be consolidated and left in an accessible area.

Timing woody weed control

Controlling weeds can be difficult, particularly if you have large infestations in tricky to access areas. However, in some locations you might discover much of the weed biomass has been burnt away. This means that if done soon, control can be done quicker, and with less effort and cost than usual.

As woody weeds re-sprout after fire, their young growing shoots are an ideal target for control.

An added benefit is less herbicide spray needs to be used and your pasture and native vegetation will have the best chance to recover, eliminating competition and opening up the space to allow in moisture and light.

Contact your local Natural Resources office for detailed advice around the correct time and techniques:
Black Hill 8336 0901 or Mt Barker 8391 7500.

Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges bushfire recovery information

Supporting your mental wellbeing

The team from the Local Health Network are here to support you in your recovery journey for the months and years ahead.

Clinician Sam Davey is based at the Lobethal Recovery Centre on Wednesdays and Fridays and can assist you in a number of ways:

  • support you if you are experiencing mental health difficulties following the fires
  • connect you with a qualified mental health clinician for assessment and support
  • assess if you are experiencing signs and symptoms of stress, anxiety, panic, sleep disorders or intense symptoms of distress
  • connect you with a visiting psychiatrist who can develop a care plan to provide relief from symptoms
  • provide access to a mental health psychologist who can provide targeted interventions if assessment indicates this may be beneficial
  • put you in touch with community forums where your lived experience can inform other community members.

To arrange a consultation with Sam please contact the Recovery Centre on 0418 213 269.

From the Onkaparinga Lions

There are many not-for-profit organisations showing amazing generosity by donating their time and effort to support people affected by the fires. We wanted to share this letter (with permission) from Cynthia Weyland, a member of the Onkaparinga Lions Club who paints a picture of some of the incredible work taking place behind the scenes.

Since January some of our members and volunteers have been very busy cooking teas for Blaze Aid and Team Rubicon. We cooked four teas for Blaze Aid and five for Rubicon.

Our cost for catering for Blaze Aid was $1,156 and Rubicon was $614. We have met many great people men and women who have come to our community from far and wide, some from England, QLD, WA, NSW, VIC and many from our own state, to help clean up burnt out homes, sheds and properties, erect new fences etc.

Last Friday night Rubicon had a farewell dinner and a few of our members that they got to know over the past weeks were invited which was a great night. I found it quite an emotional night when some of the speeches were made from Dan Cregan MP, Adam Weinert and from others that had lost their homes.

Great job to Team Rubicon, if you do not know about them go to Google. We were presented with a Rubicon t-shirt that had been signed by the members that were there the last week. It will be kept at the shed. The next morning some of their team had to get up at 4.30am to go to Kangaroo Island to do the same thing all over again and help them out.

I would like to thank everyone who helped with the catering for these teas for the shopping, preparing food, serving, cooking, cleaning, dishes and washing the floor. Thank you. Blaze aid and Rubicon members were so grateful for these teas as they had worked very hard in the day.

Our shed has never been busier since the fires, with many of the fire victims coming to get furniture, household items and anything else that was needed for those that lost everything.

This has been an emotional time for the staff at the shed as many fire victims show us photos of their places and just want to chat and they feel very comfortable to do that with us. One lady bought in a photo of a good saucepan set that she bought from us about six months ago that are all blackened and melted. She has been in every weekend, just like she was before the fires burnt her house down. So many stories we are being told, so many tears from them and us.

Our community and beyond have been so generous with donations; the Lions Club of Strathalbyn, Harcourts Real Estate and private businesses from Adelaide have been getting tools for us to give to the people that have lost their sheds. We are amazed at how the donations just keep coming in from all over the state.

Members and volunteers have done a wonderful job outside with this influx of tools with unpacking, sorting, test and tagging the electrical items, and helping the fire victims with the tools they may need.

Thank you all.”

Cynthia WeylandOn behalf of the Catering and Shed Committee

Personal and financial counselling

Lutheran Community Care is offering free personal and financial counselling to people affected by the bushfire.

Their personal counsellor can help address personal issues, relationship issues, trauma, loss and grief.

Their financial counsellor can help with financial issues including accessing relief, grants and assistance, dealing with banks
and other financial institutions and advocacy with utilities.

The team operate from the Onkaparinga Lutheran Parish Office located at 137 Onkaparinga Valley Road, Woodside.

To make an appointment contact personal counsellor Tamara on 0438 890 256or financial counsellor Jos on 0490 662 721.

Cash card from Tzu Chi Australia

Applications for a cash card from Tzu Chi Australia have been extended to 30 June 2020.

If your primary place of residence was destroyed, or suffered major damage during the Cudlee Creek fire, you are still invited to apply for a cash card of $1600 per family.

The presentation ceremony that was to take place on 5 April has been postponed in order to avoid any health risks associated with the COVID-19 virus.

Registration forms are available from the Lobethal Recovery Centre or via the recovery website.

Email your completed form or deliver it in person to the drop-off box at the Recovery Centre. You will be contacted regarding the outcome.

For more information please ring David on 0412 398 771 or Jane on 0401 685 526 (Monday to Friday, 9.00 am to 5.00 pm).

SA Bushfire Garden Revival

Are you keen to bring some colour, love and life back to your damaged garden?

Driven by Kristy Barnes, SA Bushfire Garden Revival and its volunteers can provide you with a range of beautiful plants and garden-related items, helping to support you to rebuild your home garden in line with the principles of garden therapy post-trauma.

If you lost your garden, you are invited to get in touch and let the team know what you have in mind.

When you’re ready, email SA Bushfire Garden Revival or text Kristy on 0413 565 469 to register for assistance.

An update from NRM

In support of community-wide efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), NRM has cancelled upcoming events and instead initiated an on-call service to make it possible to discuss NRM issues rather than coming directly to the Recovery Centre. These measures are being reassessed weekly in line with advice from health authorities.

Because they didn’t want you to miss out on the ‘Gardening after fire’ workshop, NRM is working with Sophie Thomson on a video series to make sure you get all the information you need to support garden recovery.

The first instalment should be ready soon and will be shared on the Cudlee Creek Fire Recovery Facebook page, and in this newsletter as it becomes available.

The Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges NRM Board is proud to support this community and fund this video series.

Centrelink visit cancelled

A Centrelink mobile service centre was due to visit Lobethal on Thursday 26 March. This visit has now been suspended due to COVID-19 restrictions on non-essential travel.

For more information on these services visit Services Australia

Events

To stay up to date on all upcoming community events as they are announced visit the online events calendar.

Contact information

Recovery details

Local Recovery Coordinator Alex Zimmermann
Phone 0418 258 304

Recovery Hotline: 1800 302 787

National Coronavirus Information Hotline: 1800 020 080.

Lobethal Fire Recovery Centre: Fabrik Arts and Heritage in the Old Woollen Mill - 1 Lobethal Road, Lobethal

Cudlee Creek Fire Recovery web pages

SA Recovery Facebook page

Local Councils

Adelaide Hills Council
Phone 8408 0400

Mount Barker District Council
Phone 8391 7200

Mid-Murray Council
Phone 8569 0100

Agriculture and livestock

PIRSA
Phone 1800 931 314

Livestock SA
Phone 8297 2299

Natural Resources
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges
Phone 8336 0901

SA Murray-Darling Basin
Phone 8391 7500

Volunteering

Volunteering SA&NT
Phone 1300 135 545

Waste management

Green Industries SA
Phone 7071 3723

Page last updated : 31 Mar 2020

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