Restoration activities at Kyffins Reserve Mulwala should be completed by the end of September due to combined actions of NSW Rural Fire Service and Corowa Shire Council.By Rob Muir
Council’s Director Engineering and Infrastructure, Nigel Sutton, delivered some bad news then good news at council’s monthly meeting on August 20.
He advised that council’s claim for $84,500 from NSW Crown Lands for Natural Disaster Relief funding assistance in respect of the devastating tornado which struck Kyffins Reserve area on March 21 would probably result in substantially less than half that amount being received.
“It’s their interpretation of debris and the fact that some trees are recovering while others aren’t and probably won’t. This is despite it being such a devastating tornado,” Mr Sutton said. Then the good news.
“Preliminary advice from Crown Lands indicates that due to limitations on the activities that are eligible for assistance under the funding arrangements, an amount of $33,500 will be available for council to undertake the restoration,” Mr Sutton said.
“NSW Rural Fire Service has approached council and offered to deploy crews from their State Mitigation Support Services to undertake works on the reserve.
“Through liaison with council staff, it has been agreed that the crews will pick up rubbish and tree debris, commencing at the lake shore and proceeding inland, extending between 50 metres and 100 metres inland.
“Larger sections of timber will be left and smaller debris will be piled and burnt in accordance with the Burn Plan for the project. Notification of details will be provided to adjoining landowners and the general community.”
Corowa council will assist the RFS through removal of the collected rubbish and roving traffic management.
Council has welcomed the free offer of assistance by the RFS who have previously undertaken work on Kyffins Reserve.
“They have concerns for fire the longer the reserve is left,” Mr Sutton said. “We’re keen to see movement – action – there, we’re after a good result, we want it safe for campers when the reserve picks up and wood collection – watch this space.”
Deputy Mayor Daryl Davey encouraged council to ensure involvement of local landholders, which includes members of local fire brigades. “They’ve all got their farms to run but if they can have some sort of input that would be good,” he said.
“We’ve got to try and satisfy their needs. Obviously it’s a good thing to have the RFS. There is pressure with people wanting to go there. The sooner people have access the better. A lot of people love that area, for tourism. It brings money into town.”
Mr Sutton said he was very confident of a good result for Kyffins Reserve appearance. “Unfortunately it’s taking some time,” he said.
Of Kyffins Reserve, Cr Norm Wales said the Crown Reserve for Public Recreation, with council as Reserve Trust Manager, has always been popular. “As soon as it’s cranked up again the better,” he said.
Councillors praised the work of Corowa District Landcare - its driving force, Bronwyn Thomas of Mulwala and some 70 volunteers – for planting and guarding 840 indigenous trees, which has been previously reported in the Yarrawonga Chronicle. “They always do a very, very good job,” Cr Davey said.
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