Rotary Australia World Community Service.
Kangaroo Island Fencing Program.
Who is the Farmer and what is the impact on them?
Sarah and I travelled to KI on Sunday 3rd May and set up our/ my camp on the property of David and Lynn McArdle. They are situated 8km south of Parndana and have 2 properties close together. Both homes on the properties were lost and David and Lynn have been living in the Shearing shed, a donated bus and have the use of a donated Recovery Pod. It is now May and this couple have been doing it tough. They do not have mains power even now, yet a property across the road which was equally damaged by fire and no one living on the property has had the power connected to sheds.
It is very cold of a night and winter is only just starting. It beggars belief that SA Power Network has done nothing for them. They have been out and assessed the area but have done nothing to get it rectified.
David and Lynn run one of, if not the states leading Polwarth Sheep Stud, which is recognised throughout the state and the eastern states. David lost 700, breeding ewes and 400, 12month old lambs.
Fencing. We completed securing the home block on Monday and Tuesday approximately 350 mts including digging all holes by hand as the soil is not damp enough to use the post rammer at this stage.
Wednesday consisted of finishing his boundary on the Little Wedgewood farm. Another 300mts. All of David’s boundary’s are completed. Although David lost just about all of his fencing there are sections that he has made do and they will be worked on during winter. A large proportion of fencing has been put in with droppers which will be replaced when the soil wetter so that the post hole rammer can be used.
The remaining portion of 500 mts we will complete this coming week including the clearing of the fence line of dead or dying trees.
On Thursday while I was in Kingscote meeting with other groups, I met with a long time friend Roger Williams who owns a local cafe and the newsagents. I told Roger of David and Lynn’s plight and he advised I got to the Kangaroo Island Bushfire Recovery Center. I met with a very helpful lady Slavia and she took details of the situation.
At 9:00am Friday morning 3 SA Power Network trucks were on site and installed transformers on both properties by 1pm. I don’t know if it helped or the fact that Roger rang local member Leon Bignell, but something worked. An Electrician will connect power to the shed Monday or Tuesday.
Work scope coming weeks.
For your information, I will be at McArdles this coming week before moving on the weekend to Michael and Sarah Stanton. There property butts onto the Stokes Bay Hall.
The following weekend 23/24th I will move to Elijah and Kellie Whale located on the South Coast Road about 4km east of Kelly Hill Caves.
Sarah and Bill Walsh