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Time for recovery

THE many community groups, who banded together working long hours during the height of the bushfire threat are now moving into recovery.

However, there is still a bushfire at Gell River in the southwest, but there is no immediate threat.

According the Tasmanian Fire Service people in Maydena, Tyenna, Mount Field and National Park should keep up to date by listening to ABC Local Radio or look at the TFS website at www.fire.tas.gov.au because fire under these conditions can be difficult to control.

Well prepared homes are defendable in these conditions. Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) urges visitors not to start bushwalks or four-wheel driving in remote areas until further notice.

Rural outreach workers from Rural Alive and Well (RAW) joined other community groups,  who dedicated many long hours working with the Derwent Valley community during the height of the recent bushfires.

RAW is a non-for-profit organisation to provide outreach support to rural Tasmania, as well as working with the community to undertake well-being initiatives. 

RAW helps individuals, families and the community through mental health issues with a focus on suicide prevention.

RAW outreach team leader – south Darren Thurlow said at the height of the bushfire threat team members manned the evacuation centres at Bothwell, which closed last Tuesday, and Hamilton, which closed almost two weeks ago.

“We got food from Loaves and Fishes Tasmania to provide hampers for the community in the Central Highlands,” Mr Thurlow said.

“We took food up to the command centre at Miena for the firies and the community, and we are still doing that.

“We are looking after the community checking around anxiety, mental health and wellbeing. We will continue to do our work in the community.”

Mr Thurlow said the district’s outreach worker Kristy Mayne took the job up with both hands right from the start of the bushfire threat.

RAW chief executive Liz Little said the Derwent Valley and the Highlands have been hit hard in the past year with natural events.

“The Derwent Valley took also real pounding when the floods hit Hobart last year, and now to top it off these bushfires,” Ms Little said.

“Kristy has been really effective in working with the community during these challenging times. She worked 11 straight days during the height of the bushfires, we had to make her take a day off. She is a good little trooper.”

Ms Little said now is the time is to focus on recovery work.

RAW has been announced as the official charity for Tasmania’s largest field days, Agfest.

Agfest chairman Owen Woolley said RAW aligned well with the agricultural event.A donation from ATM transactions fee collected will be given to RAW and  a main street site for RAW to  promote its work. Agfest will be at Quercus Park on May 2 to the 4th this year

RAW’s outreach program is available 24/7, our outreach workers will come to you, or alternatively talk on the phone. We offer a friendly ear in a difficult time, and provide information, support and strategies to help, as well as linking you to relevant services that can assist. 

The service is free and confidential. To talk to a RAW outreach worker now, call 1300 HELP MATE (1300 4357 6283)