Communities recognised for disaster resilience

Issued: 12 October 2016

Five NSW organisations have been honoured for their community resilience projects in a ceremony at Parliament House today.

Deputy Premier Troy Grant and Minister for Emergency Services David Elliott presented the NSW 'Get Ready' Community Award to Baradine & District Progress Association and the NSW Resilient Australia Awards to Kur-ring-gai Council, the NSW Deaf Society, the Catholic Education Commission and Blue Mountains Economic Enterprise. NSW SES, the Australian Red Cross and Winmalee High School were highly commended.

Award recipients are from areas affected by bushfires, floods or prone to other natural disasters. These are the communities that have been proactive in response to incidents which require the assistance of the state's emergency services.

The NSW 'Get Ready' Community Award and the NSW Resilient Australia Awards 2016 recognise the residents who engage with their local emergency services to be better prepared for when an incident occurs.

"Having recently visited areas severely affected by floods in my own electorate, I have witnessed first-hand the resilience of local communities in dealing with a natural disaster. Despite the challenges they have faced, the winners of today's awards have banded together showing great community spirit," Mr Grant said.

Baradine residents had a lucky escape from a bushfire in 2013 that destroyed 95 per cent of the nearby Warrumbungle National Park. This close call prompted the award-winning community project, led by the Baradine & District Progress Association, to build a stronger relationship with their local emergency services.

The Community Award was presented to the NSW Deaf Society whose Liaison Officers are trained by emergency services so deaf people can be updated quickly, without the need to rely on those with hearing.

"Today's winners and highly commended projects illustrate what disaster resilience is truly about - well informed, connected communities that know the risk they face and work with their community to prepare, respond and recover from any emergency," Mr Elliott said.