Editorial – With a little help from our friends
The bushfire disaster has touched us all. Over the past month, while my heart goes out to those who are personally affected, the thing that has impressed me most is how willing people are to help those who are suffering. No words of mine could express this sentiment better than the note below.
A message from Kangaroo Island, Chief Executive Officer, Greg Georgopoulos:
I would like to acknowledge the contribution other councils made to the fight and relief effort during the recent Kangaroo Island bushfires.
Kangaroo Island Council’s capacity to deal with the bushfires and the devastating impact these fires had on local infrastructure, flora, fauna and peoples’ lives and livelihoods was significantly boosted by the goodwill and support of councils from near and far.
Over 119 skilled council workers from 24 councils, lent a hand and machinery to cover the 24/7 response to protecting and supporting our community, at its most vulnerable time.
Co-ordinated by the Local Government Functional Support Group, Council was inundated with offers of help from councils across South Australia, with some offers of help coming from interstate.
The Local Government family is strong.
The services brought to the island ranged from bulldozing and grading roads, to counselling, to emergency management advice and project management, workplace safety and inter-government relations.
When the fires first began on the 20 December 2019, many Kangaroo Island Council staff worked right through their Christmas break and, for some, their annual leave.
The ability to draw on local government staff from other councils on the mainland, provided welcomed relief for weary staff, especially knowing the imported staff had the skills and knowledge to provide a seamless transition into roles where the greatest challenge was the unfamiliar terrain of the island.
Kangaroo Island Council will be indebted to all the councils involved, and we say a huge thank you to each and every individual who ventured to our island home during these recent, tragic bushfires.
As we move into the rebuild and repair phase, we know the island’s situation could well have been worse had it not been for the support and contribution of so many from the mainland.
Thank you to the Local Government Association, and again, thank you to each and every one of you: Cities of Adelaide, Port Adelaide Enfield, West Torrens, Playford, Salisbury, Norwood Payneham and St Peters, District Council of Yankalilla, City of Victor Harbor, Wakefield and Port Pirie Regional Councils, Mt Barker District Council, Light Regional Council, Karoonda East Murray Council, Cities of Unley, Tea Tree Gully, Onkaparinga, Holdfast Bay, Marion, and Burnside, Berri Barmera Council, Alexandrina Council, and Kangaroo Island Council.