Simtable on view at Stuarts Point with disaster reduction in the spotlight

A dramatic simulation of Mount Yarrahapinni under threat of fire.

THE Stuarts Point Community Hall was once again a popular gathering place on Sunday 3 September with approximately two dozen individuals eager to gain the knowledge on offer by the crew of support services officials.

The ‘Simtables for Community Empowerment’ project provided a state-of-the-art tool to engage communities in localised disaster risk reduction, with workshops partnering with local Council officers.

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Maria Fraser, from the NSW Community Reconstruction Authority, introduced the event, “The Simtable was purchased with grant funds from the NSW Government’s Bushfire Community Recovery and Resilience Fund (BCRRF) for the local government areas that were disaster declared in the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires.”

The project aims to improve the capacity of communities across the Mid North Coast to plan and respond to disasters, particularly our vulnerable populations.

Simtables are sophisticated digital sand tables that display high quality models of natural hazards such as bushfires and floods and the technology utilises a projector to overlay hazard projections over local mapping and terrain in 3D.

Through variable scenarios, the system models fire behaviour based on geophysical and meteorological conditions to demonstrate how fire might move through the landscape, and what impact it may have on the built environment.

The Simtable then provides local communities with a highly realistic demonstration of how their properties and communities may be affected.

As a place-based community engagement session, one of several across the Mid North Coast, the interactive workshop aimed to build resilience and preparedness for extreme weather events, while providing attendees with a deeper understanding of their risks, strengthening community connections and enabling the development of tailored and detailed response plans.

Rural Fire Services Community Risk Officer Jamie Laws led an extensive information and awareness session, answering many pertinent questions, as did representatives from Mid North Local Health District and Kempsey Shire Council who offered ‘Welcome Packs’ laden with emergency resources including a handy wind-up radio.

To find out more information or to find out how you can get involved, contact Linda Villy, Simtable Project Officer on 0498 172 892 or at


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