The fact that councils are more than 'roads, rates and rubbish' has been nowhere more apparent than in the current bushfire emergency.
Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council (CGRC) has declared itself 'exceedingly proud' of the efforts of its staff, both at work and in their own time.
At its meeting last week, the council received a report from its general manager, Phil McMurray, outlining dozens of different ways in which its staff had helped.
Among examples were a number of staff working on a rotation roster to haul a large watercart bringing bulk water from Tumut to the water bombing aircraft refilling area at the aerodrome.
CGRC also provided an operator to drive a Snowy Valley Council grader, while a staff member and ute delivered medical supplies from the Gundagai ambulance station to Tumut.
CGRC's manager technical service worked as local emergency management officer within the Tumut Emergency Operations Centre for two 13-hour night shifts.
CGRC staff manned road closures through the night; and Council's low loader was tasked to relocate heavy plant on an as needed basis.
Glen McAtear (manager regulatory services) was the council's designated local emergency management officer, staying in constant touch with the operations centre to keep tabs on what help was needed, attending briefings and briefing the mayor and councillors.
Staff from the Cootamundra depot managed traffic control points and traffic diversion when the Hume Highway was closed.
Andrew Brock (manager facilities) provided two members of staff to be onsite who were tasked with clearing around the electrical sub-stations in Batlow, Adelong and Talbingo.
This involved the removal of trees and grading around the sites under instruction from Essential Energy staff, using council equipment.
Further to this, various staff members were involved with the firefighting efforts on the ground, giving up their free time and using annual leave to assist with the fire fighting.
Several had been away for several days on strike teams from as far away as Ulladulla and to the Dunn's Road fire.
Local crew members have been involved with the defence at Braidwood, Batlow and Talbingo on the days of devastation (just to mention a few) and some are still working on the Dunn's Road fire around Adelong and surrounds.
Cootamundra mechanics travelled and attended to rural fire service vehicles and other items which required maintenance.
General Manager Phil McMurray said there was an "unwritten understanding" between neighbouring councils that when extreme events unfold, assistance is provided without question when asked for.
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