I'm glad to see the worst of the wet and windy weather behind us as we now focus our efforts on flood recovery and clean-up.
Thank you to the incredible volunteers at the Fairfield SES (State Emergency Service) unit, who responded to more than 1200 rescues and requests for assistance over the past three weeks, and kept the community safe and up-to-date with the latest warnings and local flood information.
After the severe floods that have affected so much of our State, as well as the bushfires before that, we all understand the importance of properly funding our emergency services so they're available when we need them.
Council pays a contribution which goes towards supporting our local emergency services - the Fairfield SES unit, the Horsley Park Rural Fire Service (RFS) brigade and Fire and Rescue NSW. Council's total contribution to emergency services is more than $2 million annually; and also includes support towards provision and maintenance of the SES and RFS stations at Cabramatta and Horsley Park, and vehicles to allow them to get on with the job of delivering critical services that ensure the safety of the community.
Moderate levels of flooding have impacted families and businesses across the city. We saw parts of Lansvale and Plough & Harrow Dam and surrounds in Abbotsbury issued with flood evacuation orders, and an evacuation centre set up at Cabra-Vale Diggers Club in Canley Vale.
While families have since returned to their homes I'd like to remind you that help is available through financial assistance, support with food and essential items, and general clean-up services if needed. The quickest way to find the support available is by visiting service.nsw.gov.au or service.nsw.gov.au/floods or calling Service NSW on 13 77 88. For small businesses, advice is available at smallbusiness.nsw.gov.au. Council crews are also providing ground support by cleaning up flood debris and repairing potholes around the city.
NSW Fire and Rescue have also reached out reminding us to be fire-safe aware this winter. We've all read about families sadly losing their homes because of heaters catching fire, or because fitted smoke alarms have not been maintained. A fire can take hold in three minutes, yet it only takes seconds to prevent one. Head to fire.nsw. gov.au for tips to help prepare you, your family, and your home for a safe winter.
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