A joint project between Narrabri Shire Council and the NSW Rural Fire Service has seen further bushfire protection installed for the Gwabegar and Pilliga communities.
In 2016, the NSW Rural Fire Service conducted community consultation sessions for the Gwabegar Village to develop a Bushfire Community Protection Strategy. Gwabegar’s location amongst thick scrub means it is particularly vulnerable during bushfire season. Throughout the consultation, residents raised the issue of electricity supply interruptions that can occur and their concerns with water supplies being unavailable for firefighting purposes if no power is available.
Council and the Rural Fire Service committed to investigating options to improve the reliability of the water supplies for firefighting purposes and determined that an electrical generator backup system was the best option.
“The Rural Fire Service applied for funding to purchase and install generator backup systems for both Gwabegar and Pilliga water supplies,” explained NSW Rural Fire Service Superintendent Michael Brooks. “Our team worked closely with Council who supported the funding applications and then assisted us with coordinating the installation of generator backup systems on location.”
“Council was pleased to partner with the Rural Fire Service to safeguard firefighting water for both Pilliga and Gwabegar,” said Council’s Director Infrastructure Delivery, Darren Raeck. “This was a relatively simple fix to a problem that could cause major issues in an emergency.”
The Community Protection Plan has been prepared for the Gwabegar community by the NSW Rural Fire Service which sets out a detailed plan of how to protect residents and property in this isolated village. A Survival Map has been installed on the wall of the Gwabegar Community Link Centre which is the designated “Neighbourhood Safer Place” in case of emergency.
“Residents and visitors to Gwabegar should familiarise themselves with the map to ensure they know what to do in case of bush fire,” said Michael Brooks.
“This project overall has improved the level of community safety in this high bushfire prone location and will give the community clear guidelines and support if bushfire ever threatens the town.”