Department of Human Services

Kangaroo Island Fire Recovery Newsletter Issue 4 - 23 March 2020

Message from the interim Local Recovery Coordinator

As some in the community already know, Mike Williams - who has ably led the crucial early relief and recovery on Kangaroo Island - is now returning to his role as Executive Director, National Parks and Wildlife Service in the Department for Environment and Water. Mike will support implementation of the State Government’s Parks 2025 plan, which recently received a $22 million funding injection to activate nature-based tourism and fast-track the recovery of regional economies hard hit by recent events.

At this natural change point in the recovery process, the hard work Mike put into these first 12 weeks of recovery on the Island is acknowledged and applauded. His compassion and understanding of the Island’s needs in these first weeks have been invaluable. As Deputy Director of the State Recovery office, I’ve been on KI for the last week and will remain during this transition between Mike’s departure and a permanent appointment. Please contact Community Recovery Officer Jennifer Trethewey on 0427 594 220 with any questions or feedback in the meantime.

The government-funded clean-up is well underway, with an initial schedule now available on the Green Industries SA (GISA) website and also at a range of locations on the island – you can find more details in this issue, including how you can contact GISA. You will be seeing more activity on the roads as trucks carry debris and machinery, so please remain alert and cautious while driving.

We are changing the way we deliver bushfire recovery community events and meetings, with community gatherings postponed until further notice. Recovery support has not stopped, however, nor has the focus on hearing from you to help plan your recovery. Make sure you reach out to use the assistance available, and ask any questions or provide feedback. A list of contacts is at the end the newsletter and also you can:

Mark Stratton
Interim Local Recovery Coordinator

Join our Facebook group

We have a dedicated Facebook group for people impacted by the Kangaroo Island fires. This private group is for those directly impacted by the fires rather than the general public.

It is a place to ask questions, share information and resources, and connect with your local community during the recovery phase. To join visit the SA Recovery Facebook page and select Groups from the left menu.

COVID-19 and bushfire recovery

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.

The Parndana 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
  • If an outreach appointment is critical we will call you before to ensure you are not vulnerable or have been exposed to the virus
  • Increasing telephone outreach calls
  • we have reduced the number of Red Cross and Disaster Ministries volunteers.

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 SA Health or contact the National Coronavirus Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

Parndana Recovery Centre + pop-ups update

The Parndana Recovery Centre is located at 12 Jubilee Avenue, Parndana.

From Sunday 22 March the opening hours are:

Monday to Friday: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Saturday: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Sunday: Closed

The centre houses representatives from a number of agencies who are there to provide assistance, including help with applications, contact numbers, advice, and mental health support.

The Pop-up Recovery Centres have finished up, due to fewer and fewer people visiting each week. Listening Posts with Local Recovery Centre staff will have their final sessions this week:

  • Vivonne Bay General Store, Tuesday 24 March 10.00 am – 2.00 pm
  • Western Districts Football Club, Monday 23, Wednesday 25 March 4.00 pm – 6.30 pm

Recovery Centre staff also undertake outreach to those who would benefit from a visit to their homes. If you know of anyone you think could do with this type of support, please call the Recovery Centre on 0438 861 215 or drop into the centre.

Reference group updates

A full list of reference group contacts is at the end of the newsletter.

Health and Wellbeing

At the most recent meeting on 3 March, the Health & Wellbeing Reference Group discussed:

  • Mental health first aid training – on hold
  • KIMC Parndana clinics – will continue at this stage. There’s been an increase in demand.
  • Upcoming workshops, courses and events
  • Childcare at Parndana now implemented
  • Flight schedule – concerns around suitability for community needs
  • Looking at increased services for children and young people. Concerned youth are not well engaged at this stage.


The Environment Reference Group has already identified at least 43 actions that need to be addressed as part of the recovery process.

The group will be holding an open meeting at the Parndana Bowling Club on Thursday 2 April 2020. Please come along if you are interested in actively contributing to environmental recovery planning.

Light refreshments will be provided at 5.30 pm and the meeting will begin at 6.00 pm.

Waste removal schedule available

An initial schedule for bushfire clean-up has been released, with a map of the fire-affected area showing colour-coded properties to indicate when clean-up of sites can be expected. The schedule will be updated weekly, as new information is received.

To discuss scheduling contact Mike Ford from Green Industries SA on 0467 601 738.

Find the map on the Green Industries SA website and at these locations:

  • KI Council, Kingscote
  • KI Community Services Centre, Kingscote
  • Drake’s supermarket, Kingscote
  • Rabbit Warren Bakery, Kingscote
  • Stokes Bay café
  • Parndana Recovery Centre
  • Davo's Deli, Parndana
  • Vivonne Bay store
  • Western Districts Footy Club, Gosse

As of 20 March 2020, 133 properties have been treated on the island to make the asbestos safe, with detailed waste assessments of 226 properties, 37 properties cleared ready to rebuild, and 41 currently in progress or under contract for demolition and clean-up.

As clean-up across the island rolls out, you’ll see activity across different locations; properties will be prioritised into ‘clusters’, which aren’t necessarily next to each other, to ensure the clean-up is efficient, and makes the most of local knowledge and expertise.

Many properties will be completed in March and the clean-up is expected to be to be completed in the next couple of months, with properties cleared and levelled, ready to rebuild.

If you haven't already registered, there is still time. For details or to get further information about progress visit the Green Industries SA website.

Western Districts ‘Emergency Hub’

The ‘Emergency Hub’ operating out of the Western Districts Sports Club has shifted to Parndana. Small goods will now be distributed through the shopfront next door to Keilem CRT. Tools will be distributed by Blaze-aid from the Parndana Pavilion.

The recovery office would like to thank Jade Hinton who has done a stellar job supporting the community over the last 11 weeks. Fantastic effort, Jade!

Social, health and wellbeing Recovery for KI

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Kath Bald. I have lived on KI for about 22 years, married to Baldy (Greg Bald) and have two children Jemma and Tilly.

I am a nurse and midwife and have previously managed the local hospital. Following the fires I was appointed as the SA Health representative for recovery on KI.

I’ve been working with the central recovery team as well as the local Health & Wellbeing workgroup to try and coordinate health/wellbeing related services for local people. We have been fortunate to have many offers of extra services in counselling and mental health support as well as offers to provide social and arts related wellbeing activities.

My next ambition was to consult with our community, you and your family, about what you want and need to help you recover in the social, health and wellbeing space.

With the recommendations that are happening now due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus), related to social distancing, our recovery consultations and gatherings will become more challenging. This doesn’t mean they can’t still take place....

I would like to hold some small group catch-ups or online forums to gather the information we need from you to help us with our work.  I am also available by phone or email to hear your ideas or concerns and strategies of how we can best continue to move forward and support each other through this really uncertain and challenging time.

We are Kangaroo Islanders and we can do this... stay strong and keep looking out for each other and your neighbours.

Phone me on 0428 169 384 or send me an email.

Mental health

As the adrenaline wears off, mental health services will become more important than ever. Fortunately, there are many services at the disposal of KI residents to help support recovery – both in the short and the long-term.

If you’re unsure where to turn, the handy chart at the end of this newsletter will help.

The KI Medical Clinic is also always there to support the community – you can call them on 8553 2037.

PsychMed Psychology Services are now taking bookings for Fridays and Saturdays – to make an appointment contact Project Manager Yvette Davey, phone 7082 3624.

Grant information

Grants are available through a variety of organisations including the State Government, Red Cross, The Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul, and the Mayoral Relief & Recovery Bushfire Fund.

For a list of currently available grants, visit the ‘Grants and Assistance’ section of the Kangaroo Island recovery website.

For assistance with grant applications, please visit the Parndana Recovery centre or give them a call
on 0438 861 215.

Centrelink and Medicare services

Staff from Services Australia are currently on KI with a Mobile Service Centre to provide residents with face-to-face service, information and support.

Dates and times:

  • Kingscote, near Mobo Group Office, Telegraph Road – Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 March, 9.00 am – 4.00 pm
  • American River, near the Post Office, Buick Drive – Wednesday 25 March, 8.30 am – 11.30 am

Information and help you can access on board the Mobile Service Centre includes:

  • registering and using the agency’s online services
  • new claims for Centrelink payments
  • updating and confirming Centrelink and Medicare information
  • information on how financial matters may impact on payments
  • assistance with payment and service options
  • rural payment entitlements for eligible farmers
  • non-cash Medicare transactions
  • enrolling for and issuing new Medicare cards
  • updating and re-issuing Medicare cards
  • social work support and referrals

All Hands and Hearts and Team Rubicon

The All Hands and Hearts and Team Rubicon teams have regretfully suspended their field operations worldwide amid concerns about COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

Steve’s Workskil group will still be on the island to assist with manual tasks.

All requests for assistance will be taken by the Recovery Centre on 0438 861 215. Tasks will then be distributed to ensure smooth coordination of work.

Additional services

Salvation Army Financial Counselling

Working from the Junction Community Centre Wednesdays 11.00 am – 5.00 pm
Thursdays 9.00 am -5.00 pm
Fridays 9.00 am – 2.30 pm for the next 11 weeks. Bookings can be made via the centre on 8341 1334.

Reference groups contact list

The Community Recovery Subcommittees are identifying issues arising from the fires and establish timelines for addressing them. If you have any ideas, feedback or stories that you would like to feed into recovery planning, please contact the appropriate theme ‘lead’ listed here.

Social, health and wellbeing

Bob Teasdale
Phone  0448 635 009


Andrew Heinrich
Phone 0427 596 108

Economic (tourism)

Jeanette Gellard
Phone 0429 990 063

Economic (primary production)

Shirley Pledge
Phone  0427 041 787


Graham Walkom
Phone 0452 286 238

Requesting assistance from support agencies and disaster relief organisations Flowchart

Requesting assistance from support agencies and disaster relief organisations - plain text version

Page last updated : 02 Apr 2020

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