With the Currowan Fire still looming in the landscape as a threat to all who love Batemans Bay and surrounds, a new campaign has been launched to strengthen and keep those connections in these challenging times.
“With devastating bushfires threatening our beautiful region, it is even more important that our colourful new local pride campaign, Love the Bay, generates positive community pride amongst Batemans Bay residents, businesses and regular holidaymakers,” says Alison Miers, President of the Batemans Bay Business & Tourism Chamber.
Love the Bay, is targeted at locals and visitors who holiday in the region, with the hope that the bonds that have drawn people to the region for life or leisure will help the local businesses survive the economic downturn many fear after the fire.
“Love the Bay is not about attracting new visitors to the area, more so the focus is on generating positive community pride amongst the residents who live in, and the visitors who already holiday in, Batemans Bay, Ms Miers says.
“We all know we love where we live. From our favourite beaches to our favourite shops, parks and recreation areas, there are just so many reasons to love the Bay.
“From the town centre to the foreshore area and all the businesses in between, the Bay remains a place for locals to interact in community areas, shopping centres, green spaces and beaches.
“The current fires are motivating us even more to Love the Bay, to stay strong as a community, to appreciate what we have, and to pull together,” Ms Miers says.
The campaign includes a push on social media for locals to share what they love about the Bay, profiles on influential business personalities and locals, along with media promotions and advertising, and branded stickers for shop windows and cars.
Content will focus on shopping local, the places and spaces locals like best and activities they like to share with visiting friends and relatives.
“Love the Bay is a great reason for locals to express their love of where they live and their top tips for living here. Batemans Bay is a place for positivity, connectivity and future growth,” Ms Miers says.
Eurobodalla Mayor Liz Innes says community spirit lights the way in dark times; she is hoping people’s generosity and thoughtfulness will help the local economy recover.
“We’re already seeing tourism affected, with visitors cancelling their reservations,” Cr Innes says.
“We’ll be making sure people know that summer in Eurobodalla will be as good as ever.
“Locals can help by encouraging friends and family to visit, or try being a tourist yourself – take the time to go visit that village, that attraction, that café you’ve always been meaning too.
“Now more than ever, we need everyone to buy local and spend money right here in the shire.”
Local businesses are encouraged contact Council’s tourism and business development staff with any questions, ideas or comments:
- Liz Rankin – 0400 652 613
- Sarah Cooper – 0458 459 863
- Leisa Tague – 0418 652 299
The Mayor is working with the Batemans Bay Business and Tourism Chamber and Bega MP Andrew Constance to organise a thank you event for the community and firies once the flames are extinguished.
In terms of the bushfire itself, flames have so far consumed close to 85,000 hectares and continue to advance in a northerly direction, predominately on the western side of the Princes Highway towards the Morton National Park. Fire activity on the eastern side of the highway has eased, however, active areas of fire continue to burn.
Crews are implementing containment strategies along the eastern and western sides of the fire. This will involve the construction of hard containment lines using heavy machinery in the north towards Braidwood Road. These works may take up to three weeks to complete.
There is still some active fire in the areas around Benandarah, Windywoppa, Currowan and other areas on the northern side of the Kings Highway. Crews are conducting backburning operations to strengthen containment lines along the Kings Highway and River Road.
The fire may occasionally flare up in areas of unburnt fuel around Lake Tabourie, Bawley Point, Kioloa, Pretty Beach, Pebbly Beach, Depot Beach, Durras North, and South Durras.
There will be an increase in smoke in surrounding areas as backburning operations are conducted particularly in the area around Nelligen.
The Princes Highway is now open with reduced speed limits. Motorists are advised to exercise caution.
The Kings Highway, however, is closed between Nelligen and Braidwood due to falling trees, rocks and backburning operations. The road will remain closed for the foreseeable future. Stay up to date with road closures and conditions via LiveTraffic NSW.
To stay up to date with all NSW bushfires, check the NSW RFS website, listen to your local radio station, or call the NSW RFS Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737.