ARMY, with the help of an RAAF transport aircraft flew in and have commissioned micro-desal plants (operating at the Kingscote Wharf) to produce drinking water for Kingscote whilst repairs continue to get the Middle River Filtration Plant back to full production.
Additional police resources have arrived on the Island, including plain clothes Officers to patrol the fire scarred zones. Residents and visitors are reminded to obey road closure signs for your own and emergency services safety. Fires remain active and the situation on the ground can change quickly.
Mayor Michael Pengilly joined Premier Steven Marshall in welcoming the Prime Minister, the Hon Scott Morrison MP to Kangaroo Island. Mayor Pengilly said this visit by the Prime Minister to see first hand and hear direct from those impacted by the bushfire devastation is an important part of the healing process and the planning to repair Island infrastructure and get people and businesses to bounce back to some semblance of normality.
'We welcome both the Prime Minister and Premier to our Island during our time of greatest need' Mayor Pengilly said.
Mayor Michael Pengilly joined Premier Steven Marshall in welcoming the Prime Minister, the Hon Scott Morrison to KI
Please be aware that the Kangaroo Island Airport is open and continues to operate at this time during the bushfire emergency. There is increased air-traffic due to the bushfire response. Please check with your carrier regard flight schedules.
South Australian CFS Volunteers continue to rotate through KI keeping local crews rested and fresh to continue the fight on the fire fronts that remain active. Our sincere thanks to all the emergency services workers who are helping defend our Island.
A reminder to all that a Total Fire Ban remains in place across the Island. This image is of the 'old girl' being parked up at base this morning following a 15 hour stint on the fire front.
CEO of Kangaroo Island Council Greg Georgopoulos was asked at this afternoon’s media conference how council will spend the Prime Ministers $1m promised bushfire recovery funding. Greg stated that this will be a decision that must be made by Council, guided by the local community Greg also reflected on the outstanding work being done by local and mainland Councils staff, working side by side with ARMY, government agencies, emergency service workers to take the fight to the fire.
Kangaroo Island Mayor Michael Pengilly was joined by the Minister for the Environment and Water the Honourable David Spiers, and Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas at Kangaroo Island Airport to welcome Australian businessman Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest Mr Forrest has taken a very keen interest in Kangaroo Island following he and wife Nicola announcing their philanthropic arm, the Minderoo Foundation, would donate $70 million to fire relief efforts and efforts to build the nation's long-term resilience to bushfires. Mr Forrest passed on his best to everyone on Kangaroo Island as he and his team further assess the situation on the ground and consider how the Foundation can add value to the local long term recovery of the Island.
Mayor Pengilly returned from the fire ground and Relief Centre at Kingscote to be interviewed on ABC891 Radio early this morning. Mayor Penally, though very tired, reiterated that Islanders and the mainlanders that are here fighting these fires side by side must push through. "Three weeks today since it started and I shake my head in disbelief...Mother nature has turned against us" Mayor Pengilly said. "This things gotta end soon...Everybody has hit the wall...I take my hat off to the SA Power Networks and the work they are doing...all emergency service workers' Mayor Pengilly said...We just need this morning to get a handle on what is what and persevere...we will keep plodding along...the world goes on' Mayor Pengilly said.
With back of the bushfires broken and CFS crews patrolling the bushfire perimeter stretching from one side of the Island to the other, the repair and rebuilding begins.
The RAAF continue to support the rotation of emergency service workers to and from Kangaroo Island. An RAAF Spartan made a quick turn around this morning as the government officials released over the weekend the harsh statistics of the bushfires across the Island. 211,255Ha of land burned, 89 houses destroyed, 296 outbuildings destroyed, 276 vehicles destroyed. The loss of two local lives is heart wrenching and the untold loss of wild life and stock is a cruel blow to both the local tourism industry and farming, our two largest industry sectors.
Some very special people are looking out for our Kangaroo Island kids. Denise Munns from Norman Park in QLD posted through to Council a padded bag full of these amazing hand knitted Teddy Bears specifically for the kids of KI looking for a new friend to hold on to, as we work through the aftermath of the recent bushfires. Thank you Denise, incredibly generous and welcomed gifts.
A beautiful sunrise on Kangaroo Island this morning. An Island now of great contrast from the devastation of the west from the Summer Bushfires, to the untouched splendour of the east. Truly an Island where you can witness first hand the power of mother nature and her impact on our landscape, flora and fauna, and our people.
Amid the bushfire disruption, a small but nonetheless important sign of getting back to business as usual. Yesterday three local residents were sworn in as Australian Citizens by Mayor Michael Pengilly, on behalf of David Coleman MP, Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs. Held in the Kangaroo Island Council Chamber, Poppy Burri and her two young children Julius and Liv, proudly made the pledge of commitment to Australia and concluded the ceremony singing at full voice their newly adopted country’s national anthem ‘Advance Australian Fair'. Joined by many friends of the family, the ceremony was a joyful occasion for three very proud new Australians.
Another semi load of much needed infrastructure support arrives from the mainland. Mayor Pengilly said "We are determined to rebuild a stronger and extremely resolute island community and economic future moving forward"
The Commanding Officer of the Kangaroo island Defence Task Force Colonel Don Hogben hands over the reigns to Lieutenant Colonel Phillip Cox (left of photo), accompanied by Warrant Officer Davies at today's briefing and update with Mayor Michael Pengilly and CEO of Council Greg Georgopoulos. Council sincerely thanks Col Hogben for his outstanding, methodical leadership and counsel during this challenging time for the Island. Don's relationship with Council has been outstanding, his availability and 'can do' mind set created a strong bond with Council and ensured the working relationship between locals, Council and Army was always task and outcome focused.
Parndana Sports Club were delighted to host five Adelaide Football Club players last night, raising the spirits of the local community. The Crows Rory Laird Crows’ 2018 Club Champion award and twice All Australian Squad Member touched based with Mayor Michael Pengilly who was presented with a signed Crows guernsey...stay tuned for news on the guernsey's future...
It is never too late to clean up your property and be bushfire ready. If you need assistance local contractors can help. If you are not too sure as to what you can and can’t clear please contact Council for advice and direction. https://www.kangarooisland.sa.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0028/345619/2016-17-List-of-Contractors-Fire-Hazard-reduction-works.pdf
(Image attached ABC News)
CFS chief officer Mark Jones and CEO of Council Greg Georgopoulos met Monday with two critical items on the agenda. Post bushfires, what can we do differently to strategically remediate the fire affected zone of the Island and how do we protect the ‘east’ of the Island from the same fate of that of the ‘west’; stepping up proactive bushfire prevention work.
With over 1300kms of roads on the Island and 81% of those roads unsealed, Council is faced with an eternal road maintenance regime. During the bushfires, crews were continually grading roads that required additional maintenance due to the increased heavy vehicles traffic, (such as CFS and ARMY vehicles) that required safe access to the fire grounds. Recent and welcomed heavy rains have required additional support to repair roads washed away and rutted from the downpours. Always nice to come home on a freshly graded road.
Council is very pleased to advise that the Federal and State Governments have agreed to co-fund the removal of debris from farmers, businesses and households impacted by the bushfires. Council has been strongly advocating for bushfire waste collection to be expanded beyond toxic waste such as asbestos and CCA treated timber. More details are to come on the logistics of the cleanup process. Authorities are scoping quickly the tasks required to meet immediate needs. This is a complex issue considering the diversity of waste that needs to be collected. Where possible all three levels of government wish to see as much debris as possible recovered, reused, recycled. For more information check out www.dhs.sa.gov/recovery
Great to have ABC891 broadcasting today from the Kingscote Town Hall promoting local industries and discussing recovery efforts as the Island rebuilds and prepares for the long recovery road.
A big shout out to Judy and Jack Condous OAM for raising $4720.00 toward the KI Mayoral Relief & Recovery Bushfire Fund. Jack is a very proud Greek Australian and Kastellorizian who was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his service to the visual arts and education after bringing art into Australian schools for the past five decades. Jack recently turned 80 and dedicated his birthday celebrations to raising money for those impacted by the Kangaroo Island bushfires.
Penneshaw was a sea of colour and people when P&O cruise ship Pacific Aria set anchor in Hog Bay yesterday. Mother nature provided perfect weather for the visit enjoyed by hundreds of passengers who came ashore to explore the markets, food, wine and beverages.
Michael Capponi, head of US based 'Global Empowerment Mission' visited Parndana yesterday to donate gift vouchers to those impacted by the recent bushfires. This internationally rated gold charity provides relief to victims of natural and manmade disasters around the world Michael and his team welcomed the opportunity to meet with locals to hear first hand of their experiences and current needs. Michael and his teams visit is a first step toward providing additional aid for recovery projects.
Kangaroo Island Council Mayor Michael Pengilly and CEO Greg Georgopoulos joined other community representatives and locals directly adversely impacted by the recent bushfires, at today’s BizRebuild Round-table held at the Parndana Hotel. The Business Council of Australia has established BizRebuild, a five-year recovery and rebuilding fund run by business. It is a charitable trust and has Deductible Gift Recipient status BizRebuild will run for five years, working closely with the National Bushfire Recovery Agency to co-ordinate support from the business community, for the business community. The BizRebuild team has already begun work in bushfire affected areas and distributed post meeting much appreciated immediate short term gift voucher support. For more information go to; www.bca.com.au/emergency_response
His Excellency the Governor of South Australia Hieu Van Le and Mrs Le, accompanied by the Mayor of Kangaroo Island, Mr Michael Pengilly, continued their Vice Regal visit to Kangaroo Island this week where they met with staff and students at the Kangaroo Island Community Education, Kingscote Campus, and afterwards with personnel from local businesses at the Parndana Bowling Club. In the afternoon the Governor and Mrs Le toured the fire affected areas and met with representatives from the Western Districts Memorial Community and Sports Club and the Stokes Bay Community Hall. In the evening at Parndana, the Governor, accompanied by Mrs Le, addressed the guests at a community reception, and afterwards at Kingscote the Governor and Mrs Le hosted His Worship the Mayor of Kangaroo Island, Mr Michael Pengilly and Mrs Jan Pengilly; Mr Bob Teasdale, Deputy Mayor and Mrs Jennie Teasdale; CEO of Kangaroo Island Council Greg Georgopoulos and Mrs Nicki Putland, Director of Council Services and Mr Brenton Putland; and Lieutenant Colonel Philip Cox, Commanding Officer, Kangaroo Island Recovery.
AFL and SANFL to upgrade KI Football ovals
Greg Georgopoulos the CEO of Kangaroo Island Council has expressed his sincere gratitude to the SANFL and AFL for their very kind commitment to remediate the football ovals for the Islands Clubs that make up the Kangaroo Island Football League.
‘This is a tremendous gesture and will be welcomed news for the football club communities across the Island’ Mr Georgopoulos said.
Council understands that the first step is to top dress and help make ready each football oval for this coming season, that begins on ANZAC Day in April. At the conclusion of the season the turf expert and supporting contractors will return and work with Clubs and Council to undertake major remediation of the ovals, in time for cricket and the next football season.
SANFL Infrastructure and Community Development Manager, Lisa Faraci, said the League was pleased the AFL had distributed the funds quickly and to the areas most in need.
‘We’re delighted the AFL approved the application and saw the urgent need to support Kangaroo Island football clubs in getting their ovals ready in time for the upcoming season,” Ms Faraci said.
Premier Steven Marshall has unveiled details of his Government’s new Parks 2025 plan – a once-in-a-generation strategy to activate nature-based tourism, and fast-track the recovery of vital regional economies, hard hit by national and international events – with an initial $22 million investment.
Initially $7m will be directed to Island projects:
o Enhanced visitor experience and facilities at Seal Bay;
o New visitor precinct at Antechamber Bay;
o Upgraded visitor facilities at Murray’s Lagoon;
o A signature camping experience at D’Estrees Bay;
o New visitor experiences at Cape Willoughby