October Stock Journal Column: Reviewing bushfire support for SA producers
November 29, 2020
Livestock SA is using the learnings from the 2019-20 bushfires to ensure future responses to natural disasters offer similar relief for those affected and continue to be well coordinated and accessible.
The organisation has reviewed its support and response efforts in conjunction with the SA Country Fire Service as attention now turns towards the coming summer bushfire season.
The fires in the Adelaide Hills and Kangaroo Island combined resulted in the loss of three lives, 46,700 livestock, 100 homes and 260,000 hectares of land.
Livestock SA organised two fodder donation depots to support affected producers and community members, with more than 1200 tonnes of hay donated at Oakbank Racecourse and 4500 tonnes donated to Cape Jervis.
Livestock SA, along with the Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA), also helped to support those who were carting supplies to Kangaroo Island by organising funding through the State Government for ferry access.
Both depots were open for three months and were supported by volunteers who helped to deliver hay to the depots and properties and helped to load trailers, floats and cars with hay and other fodder.
The depots not only provided fodder relief, they also became a place where bushfire-affected producers and residents were able to come together and talk about their experience and their recovery.
The South Australian community banded together and showed tremendous generosity during this difficult time.
Livestock SA has assessed the accessibility to the fodder depots and will ensure that if an emergency depot is required in future, it will be easily accessible by large trucks and trailers but located off a busy main road.
Vehicles used for fodder delivery, along with responsible volunteers, will need to be identified and records provided to give residents in the affected areas confidence that the people who are accessing their properties are working with Livestock SA.
Improved WHS procedures such as areas for on-foot traffic only and vehicle only access will be implemented to ensure the safety of volunteers and those accessing the fodder service.
Livestock SA will be highlighting some of the outcomes and comments from the review with the SA CFS on its website and in its member newsletter, providing further support and suggestions to producers to ensure they are bushfire ready.
To learn more about the support Livestock SA and all of the generous SA volunteers provided during the last bushfire season, watch Livestock SA’s fodder depot video www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzfOzf5W2qc.
Livestock SA also welcomes further feedback regarding its bushfire response and support via email at email@example.com
– ANDREW CURTIS, Chief Executive Officer, Livestock SA