Oct 24 2014

From Andrew Page in the Radio Snowy Mountains Newsroom:

Tough new penalties will empower the NSW Police Force and the Rural Fire Service to bring those who deliberately and recklessly disrespect total fire ban warnings before the courts.

The NSW Parliament has passed the Rural Fire Amendment Bill 2014.

Under the new laws, offenders will face fines of up to $132,000 and up to 7 years jail time.

A difficult fire season ahead is predicted.

District Technical Officer with the Monaro Rural Fire Service Alish Pope said, while most people want to do the right thing, fire permits are now required.

“People are required at this time of year to have a permit and provide 24 hours notice to the fire control centre and to their neighbours that they are intending to burn,” Ms Pope said.

“They are also required to ensure that the fire does not escape their property,” she said.

“People just need to be aware, although we want them to undertake hazard reduction and we're happy for people to burn, they need to know the rules”.

Oct 24 2014

From Andrew Page in the Radio Snowy Mountains Newsroom:

Cooma-Monaro Shire Council recently received a grant through the NSW Government's Waste Less Recycle More Initiative to introduce a kerbside organic waste collection system.

Part of the funding required council to undertake an audit of domestic waste bins to see how much waste was organic.

Councils Waste and Resource Operations Manager Jeff Tate said out of 224 bins selected, more than 65 per cent of material in an average bin does not need to go to waste at the landfill.

“We'll be diverting the waste away from the landfill and composting it at our compost facility at the Cooma landfill and turning it into a commercial grade compost that can then leave the site and be used back in our gardens and sports-fields and farms to use a valuable fertiliser,” Mr Tate said

“The cost benefit to the community is that the landfill will last us much longer than it would if we currently kept filling it and that’s important because the landfill does have a use by date,” he said.

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