Water infrastructure upgrades improve fire resilience in Dunbogan

Rural Fire Service members Frank Vunvaca, Emilia Holt, Peter Williams and John Penberthy, NSW Fire & Rescue’s Tony Jake Adams and Les King, Diamond Waters Caravan Park co-owner Stephen Ritchie and Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie.

FIREFIGHTERS and first responders gathered in Dunbogan last week to celebrate the completion of an upgrade to water infrastructure at the Diamond Waters Caravan Park.

In 2022, Ritchie Villages was awarded a $975,364 grant under the Australian Government’s Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grant Program to upgrade 1.5 kilometres of water main along Diamond Head Road, and install hydrants throughout Diamond Waters Caravan Park to protect the community of Dunbogan.

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The construction of the main and installation of the hydrants is complete, with firefighters undertaking a drill last week to test the newly installed system.

“We want to inform all of the first responders about this great asset that is now supporting the area of Dunbogan,” said Diamond Waters Caravan Park co-owner Cicely Sylow.

“Ensuring if an event like the 2019-20 bushfires ever happens again, we are well prepared and everyone knows where everything is located.”

Ms Sylow told NOTA she was “very grateful” the grant had been successful.

“It took a tremendous amount of effort and support from the whole community, including Dr David Gillespie, NSW Fire & Rescue, the Rural Fire Service, the Red Cross and all our community partners in order to receive this funding.”

The caravan park owner feels “extremely relieved” to be able to upgrade the park’s fire protection, as it is home to more than 100 residents.

“The upgrade means we are able to keep both our residents and neighbouring communities safe,” she said.

Present at the drill and following community barbeque were community members and organisations who played a key role in progressing this project, including Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie, EIRE Construction’s Trevor Heise and Ben Granger, Whispering Tree Arboricultural Consulting’s Brett Jeffery, and Leonie Stevenson, an environmental advisor from WolfPeak.

Also in attendance were members of first responder organisations involved in the 2019-20 bushfires including Fire & Rescue NSW, Rural Fire Service, the NSW State Emergency Service (SES) and forestry.

“Securing this critical water supply with appropriate infrastructure was vital in order to adequately equip Diamond Waters Caravan Park so it can prevent the spread of any future fires throughout the Dunbogan area as well as protect the homes of the residents in the park,” Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie told NOTA.

“Today’s celebration was a great way to mark the completion of this project.”


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