Kangaroo Island bushfire recovery committee steps backs as rebuild projects proceed

WORKERS' ACCOMODATION: Trees for Life volunteers set up shop in the new workers' accommodation building at the Western KI Caravan Park, which was one of the committee's recovery projects. Photo supplied
WORKERS' ACCOMODATION: Trees for Life volunteers set up shop in the new workers' accommodation building at the Western KI Caravan Park, which was one of the committee's recovery projects. Photo supplied

The KI Bushfire Recovery Committee has stepped back as various recovery projects proceed.

Mayor Michael Pengilly said he was confident the list of economic recovery projects developed by the committee had largely been implemented.

"I am hearing from the community that we want to move on and we have done remarkably well, I think," he said.

The committee had not met since last year, although he did not rule out meeting again, if necessary.

The committee consisted of representatives from the council, PIRSA, community centre and other agencies.

Projects accomplished included the construction of the workers accommodation at the Western KI Caravan Park and the blowfly research station on North Coast Road, which was about to start producing sterile flies.

Equipment had arrived for the new Cygnet River wool processing plant that should be setting up soon, and planning continued for new workers' accommodation at Parndana at the camping area behind the town hall.

One challenge yet to solve was improving mobile phone coverage, but he anticipated some announcements soon from telecommunication providers.

New Ausco Modular change rooms are installed at the Western Districts sports club last month. Photo: Greg Bald

New Ausco Modular change rooms are installed at the Western Districts sports club last month. Photo: Greg Bald

Other projects not devised by the committee had also progressed, such as the Western Districts and Stokes Bay Hall rebuilds.

Fiona Jago at the Western KI Caravan Park & Wildlife Reserve is at the frontline of bushfire recovery. While she has been generally pleased with the pace of the rebuild, it had also been rather frustrating at times.

She and her husband were still living in one of the park's cabins but were hoping to begin rebuilding their own house, a project held up by timber shortage and other factors.

There had been much accomplished, including the construction of the workers accommodation building at the caravan park that already was being well utilised.

She and others were now waiting for the federal government's Black Summer funding to come through, so they could begin more projects, including installing a 24-hour fuel supply service, much needed by locals and visitors.

She was also keen for the state government to proceed with the rebuild of the Flinders Chase visitor centre and also the wilderness trail campgrounds as soon as possible.

While it had been a busy summer, visitors were missing these key infrastructure items, she said.