It continues to be a very difficult time for Kangaroo Island, and like many around the world, the South Australian Tourism Commission is looking for ways we can support the island’s community and the response effort.
Welcome rain and a cool change arrived on Kangaroo Island today, giving the community, authorities and firefighters much-needed relief from the recent sustained bushfire activity.
At 14:00 on Friday 10 January, the South Australian Country Fire Service (CFS) advised that the situation on Kangaroo Island has stabilised and emergency services are now working on extinguishing the fire ahead of increasing temperatures expected early next week.
Other government agencies are in the process of assessing critical infrastructure and restoring power, water, telecommunications and other services. Despite the large task ahead of them, there is confidence that all necessary services will be restored during the coming weeks
The advice from the CFS about travel to the island is that priority and preference is being given to emergency services, agencies and organisations working to restore normal community routine. People travelling to support family and friends, deliver freight and services, and maintain community function are also welcome.
Anyone on the island should monitor the fire situation and as always, refer to the CFS website for updates
The SATC has been working closely with tourism operators on the island, including providing dedicated resources to the Kangaroo Island Tourism Food Wine and Beverage Association. The Association is doing a fantastic job in supporting its local community in extremely difficult circumstances.
When it is safe and appropriate for us to travel to the island, the SATC will sit down with industry leaders and tourism representatives to properly assess what help is needed first. We want to help the community get back on its feet as soon as possible in a tangible, practical and meaningful way.
We are working on a three-phase tourism recovery strategy to assist operators on both Kangaroo Island and in the Adelaide Hills, and will provide more information about this soon. The SATC will also continue to work with local businesses, inbound operators, ferry companies and airlines, Kangaroo Island Tourism Food Wine and Beverage Association, Adelaide Hills Tourism, other State Government departments and Tourism Australia in the rebuild and recovery phase.
It is important to know that the SATC is working to ensure that all 11 regions across the state are supported in growing the visitor economy in 2020. We understand that there is a flow on effect of the bushfires to other parts of the state, and we will continue to communicate that there are many wonderful places to visit across South Australia.
For anyone wishing to assist in fundraising efforts for all communities impacted by the recent bushfires, the South Australian Government yesterday launched the SA Bushfire Appeal to raise funds for people directly affected by the Cudlee Creek and Kangaroo Island bushfires. Every dollar donated to the Appeal goes directly to those impacted by the fires, with the South Australian Government to absorb all administration costs.
It is also important for all people to look after themselves and one another. A free mental health telephone counselling service has been established in response to bushfires in parts of Australia and is available for anyone across the country. The APM Assure Community Support Line can be contacted on 1800 276 113.
It has been heartening to see the outpouring of support from the industry in response to the fires. The SATC will continue to work with the tourism sector, offering our full support and assistance.