Coonabarabran bushfire recovery

A Vietnam veteran is taking charge in the Coonabarabran bushfire recovery and Australian Composite Technology is bringing the artillery.

BlazeAid co-ordinator and Vietnam veteran Laurie Dawson is taking control at the bushfire recovery in the dispersal of donated fencing material.

With $90,000 worth of fence posts donated by Australian Composite Technology, Mr Dawson was very happy to let slip word of the donation.

With the supply and distribution of fencing materials and volunteers being BlazeAid’s main concern, Mr Dawson said he would personally take responsibility for the distribution of the fencing materials.

“I am an out-of-towner, I’m impartial, I have no grudges and no favourites, plus no one who may feel hard done by can take a grudge out on someone they won’t see,” he said.

The materials will be distributed on a needs basis, according to Mr Dawson.

There have been up to 40 volunteers a day helping to replace fences on properties which were in the path of the fire.

“Volunteers have come from all over, right across Australia, they’re mainly retired folk,” said Mr Dawson.

“Many (volunteers) have a rural background but there’s also a lot that don’t. An unskilled lady can run a wire through a fence post or stop the wire spinner from getting tangled.

“Skill isn’t required as long as there’s a skilled person working nearby.

“The volunteers are here because they want to be here, we get as much out of it as we put in.

“It’s a great privilege to be putting something back into the community but it is also a very humbling experience to be working with people who have lost so much.

“Locals in the Coonabarabran shire have made donations of money and materials.

“We’ll be here for a while, three months, four months, six months I don’t know, it all depends on the continuity and supply of the volunteers.

“Personally I’m a Vietnam veteran on a veteran’s affairs pension and it feels good to be putting back into the community.”

General manager of Australian Composite Technology (ACT) Rose Smithers said her company’s support would be continual.

“The good thing about it is we’re an Australian company helpingout Australian people,” said Ms Smithers.

“They deserve better materials, the posts have a 50 to 100-year life span.

“We’ve also put out a special price for those fire-affected farmers who can afford it.

“The product is completely Australian made and owned.”

A donation of $90,000 worth of fence posts will help rebuild fences lost during the Warrumbungle bushfire.

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