BlazeAid still looking for new base camp, council helping

ABOVE: BlazeAid Casino base camp coordinators John and Chris Male with a volunteer at Casino Showgrounds.

Susanna Freymark

Since early September coordinators of the base camp for BlazeAid, set up at the Casino Showgrounds, have been looking for a new home.

The camp has been at the showgrounds since 2019.

Casino BlazeAid coordinator Chris Male said they had been asked to vacate for six months while capital works were done.

“Our problem, at least at the moment, is we have nowhere to go,” Chris said.

Since the story on September 15 (see the link below) offers have come through but none are quite suitable.

BlazeAid fencing volunteers desperately seeking a new camp

BlazeAid volunteers help fix fences destroyed by fire and flood.

The BlazeAid base camp needs power, water and toilets for the volunteers living in tents, not vans.

The camp needs room for more than 10 vans and a kitchen area for the crew to gather.

Chris said they had been looking at small hall sites.

Richmond Valley Council has asked BlazeAid to vacate the showgrounds because vital infrastructure work has started as part of the $10 million Casino Showground and Racecourse upgrade.

The Casino Show, on this month, would also need to use the showgrounds.

Council has been in regular contact with the BlazeAid camp coordinator with relocation suggestions such as the Rappville Sportsground, but these have been knocked back as they don’t meet BlazeAid’s requirements.

The crew was also offered the opportunity to stay on local properties but declined these options as well, the council said.

Kyogle and Lismore councils were contacted to see if showgrounds in those towns could be used but so far a site has not been found.

“Our local caravan parks are not an option as they are at capacity offering vital emergency accommodation to flood-impacted residents,” the council said.

If you think you know somewhere suitable call Chris Male on 0418 745 994.

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