Helping hand for those affected by bushfire

As the nation appears to rock from one crisis to the next, it would be easy for those who suffered in the recent bushfires to feel left forgotten.

A familiar face has been assigned to assure farmers in the Tenterfield area that this is not the case. Local farmer Jodie Magner -- as a recovery support officer with NSW DPI's Rural Resilience Program -- has been tasked to support primary producers, small landholders and communities on the road to recovery.

Her role is to connect them to services and and help them in their decision-making and future planning to recover from the fires.

The emphasis is on practical and personal support. Jodie urged people not to self-assess and not to delay in case they miss out on some of the programs on offer.

Disaster recovery grants of up to $75,000 for primary producers affected by bushfires since August 31 last year, for instance, close at the end of July. Anyone who is yet to apply or is unsure if they qualify should contact Jodie or the Rural Assistance Authority as soon as possible.

Since taking on the role late last year, Jodie has met with around 220 fire-affected people throughout the Tenterfield local government area, regularly travelling to the extremes of the shire and everywhere in between.

One of her projects is assisting those who lost homes to apply for Minderoo pods. These pods are delivered onsite to provide temporary accommodation while new homes are built.

Jodie said she has been fortunate to be on the spot to witness the delivery of some of the pods, and the relief they bring.

The pods are supplied by the Minderoo Foundation, created by the Andrew and Nicola Forrest. 'Twiggy' Forrest visited Tenterfield in January to see what the foundation could do for the area.

Jodie and the foundation are also involved in the Torrington fencing project,along with community members, Rotary Tenterfield, Anglicare, Red Cross, Office of Emergency Management, GIVIT, local businesses and the BackTrack boys from Armidale. Fences were restored and rebuilt throughout Torrington village and beyond, with another month spent fencing closer to Tenterfield. The project also set to move into other areas of the shire.

The associated Torrington Health and Wellbeing day was touted a huge success, with another planned for later in this month.

Anyone seeking assistance in the wake of the 2019 bushfires can contact Jodie on 0429995189 or at jodie.magner@dpi.nsw.gov.au.