This page is dedicated to providing readers with information of how the 2019/20 bushfires have affected golf courses and communities across the nation. We'll provide any information about charity events to support groups raising money for the disaster, as well as updates on how courses are coping and if they are open for play.
The Lakes Entrance CFA is not fully funded and relies on donations and desperately needs to upgrade its equipment and station. The recent bushfire threat that crept into the Colquhoun forest just north of the town has emphasised how important this is and subsequent evacuations have meant less donations so we need your help.
We are hosting a fundraiser on Sunday the 16th of Feb where you can enjoy our beautiful golf course, win some great prizes that have been donated for the event and help the CFA defend our town. It is a 10:30am shotgun start and the $40 entry fee per person will all go to the Lakes Entrance CFA.
Please call the Golf Club on 03 5155 2832 to book a spot. We look forward to seeing you on the tee and if it’s raining we will celebrate that as well and still give out the prizes to those present in the clubhouse.
It has been over a week since the Mallacoota Golf Club Committee of Management (COM) updated members and friends on the impact from bushfires to the fairways, greens and likely access for golfers. The COM is meeting weekly to keep abreast of insurance requirements, obtain quotes for works, and complete relevant paperwork (President Bruce Gaudion on the 8th green at Mallacoota pictured below))
Where we are at
An Arborist has undertaken a preliminary assessment of damage to the course and will return in the next few days to complete a final assessment. This assessment will include costs to remove debris, identify and remove hazardous trees, and general clean-up. The report will then be submitted to the Insurance Company for further assessment. Committee members are busy obtaining quotes for miscellaneous damage to equipment, fencing, tees, greens, irrigation system, and so on.
Michael Henderson, is a professional course architect and shaper of golf courses and works in Melbourne and internationally. Michael is an expert in the area of course design, clearing and replanting of golf courses, and he has offered his services to Mallacoota Golf Club, in a voluntary capacity. Further, Michael is able to provide commentary and assistance with damage to greens, tees, bunkers and replanting. The COM is indeed fortunate to have such vital professional assistance in the current circumstances of such fire damage.
Tura Beach, Pambula Merimbula and Tathra Golf Club
Thank you to Tura Beach, Pambula Merimbula and Tathra Golf Clubs for their generous offer for Mallacoota Golf Club members to play on their courses during the closure of the Mallacoota Golf Course as follows:
Tura Beach Golf Club
Extends to all Mallacoota Golf Club members waived green fees up until the 29th February 2020. Competition fees and cart hire is as per normal cost.
Pambula Merimbula Golf Club
Offers Mallacoota Golf Club members participation in golf competitions for just the cost of competition fee (no green fees or reciprocal fee). Fixtures are displayed on the club website and generally include Sundays either mixed/medley or individual stableford, Mondays 9 hole medley competition, Tuesday Ladies 18 hole competition, Wednesday Men’s 18 hole competition, Thursday 18 hole medley and 9 hole ladies competition and Saturday 18 holes men’s and ladies.
Tathra Golf Club
Extends an invitation, for the next 6 months, to Mallacoota Golf Club members to join Tathra any time for a game of social golf, or the use of the tennis facilities as guests. Members are welcome to play in golf competitions for the competition fee, with the need to show your membership card to whomever is on duty.
The Club continues to receive significant donations from individuals and some clubs including Hervey Bay, mentioned in the previous newsletter. Bundoora Golf Club is also holding a fundraising event in February for Mallacoota. Such support for the Mallacoota Golf Club is extremely gratifying and overwhelming.
HERVEY BAY GOLF CLUB - AUSTRALIA DAY BUSHFIRE APPEAL SUNDAY 26TH JANUARY 2020
To Members of Hervey Bay Golf Club
I’m sure we have all been horrified at the images of the bushfires, which are decimating Australia at the moment. The threat is not over. The cost in lives and property is still ongoing and still being determined. We have discovered that the Mallacoota Golf Club has sustained severe damage to their irrigation system, some greens, trees on the fairways and the fairways themselves have been totally destroyed. They are a small club of some 110 members and needless to say are financially “tight”. In speaking with President Bruce Gaudion , their most urgent item for attention is the repair of their irrigation system and surrounds. They have, as we have, the use of recycled water from council’s treatment system. Bruce became very emotional and grateful that a sister golf club would think of them. I’m sure a game of golf is the last thing on the minds of people in the fire areas, and low on anyone’s priority list, however, the Committee, Pro Shop and The Clubhouse felt that an appropriate form of action would be to support a golf club suffering devastation due to the fires. In the coming months they will be getting their lives back to normal and with that in mind the Hervey Bay Golf Club would like to play a small part in re establishing their Club. On Sunday 26th January – what better day for Australians to help Australians! – The Golf Club will host an appeal day. The event will be a 9 hole Ambrose team of 3, played in 6’s. It will be a shotgun start at 12:30pm.
The Clubhouse will donate a pre-game drink and post-game nibbles. Popular musician - Doug Edwards will donate his time to entertain after golf. The Pro Shop will donate their starter’s fees and provide trophies. The Golf Club will waive green fees. There will be raffles with great prizes donated by local businesses
Cost to play will be $50 per player – the entire $50 will go to the appeal. We will be limited to 108 players. This will be the only competition available on this day. We welcome anyone interested to play – get a team together – members, visitors or non-golfers (we will allot a handicap).We also invite any of our members who can provide a gift voucher ($20 - $200) for the raffles to contact Gerry Taylor, Jenny Davies on 0409 057560 or Sandie in the office.
On 28th December, the South Coastal Eden residents and visiting tourist were advised by the Government agency of an imminent and significant fire threat arising from concerns that the fires burning on the Victorian NSW state border would spread north and advised to leave the region at the earliest opportunity.
Subsequently, we access that some 15,000 tourists located in amongst the regions 9 caravan parks, holiday facilities and motels left the town via the only means possible effectively vacating the town centre at the peak of its annual trading season.
Late on Monday 30th December afternoon, RFS and SES officers informed the Eden Fishermen’s Recreation Club to be ready to activate its facilities as an emergency evacuation centre and within hours the club started to receive residents and tourists (many whom had fled the Mallacoota region into the club seeking shelter.
By Tuesday 31st December the club was accommodating in excess of 300 evacuees without any prior notice or support arrangements in place as by this stage the fires had progressed north canvassing a 140km area stretching from the southern outer towns of Kiah, Nethercote and Boydtown isolating Eden from the South whilst fires raging north of Bega had severed the Princes Highway and an out of control fire at Bemboka had closed the Snowy Mountains Highway to the west thus leaving the town without support emergency crews nor supplies of food , fuel and other essentials.
Between the period of Monday 30th and New Year’s Day the Fishermen’s club had supplied in excess of 500 meals to those seeking shelter, closed the commercial activities of both the Recreation Club and Eden Gardens Country Club to house and protect people from both the toxic smoke conditions and oppressive heat conditions.
Wednesday and Thursday of that same week, conditions eased and emergency responders felt that they had controlled the fires to south and as such a further 5,000 residents and remaining visitors were able to leave the area as authorities had managed to re-open the Snowy Mountains highway via Cooma to Canberra allowing those persons to leave, many of which were Victorian.
On Friday January 4th, a significant change in weather conditions occurred which drastically pushed and reignited the fire front directly towards the town of itself and the area came under immediate threat.
Once again, several hundred patrons sought shelter in the club with many patrons being transported to the Country Club where shower facilities were made available and some donated materials such as bedding and clothing obtained along with some additional water and food supplies to accommodate the masses.
At approximately 7pm on Saturday January 4th, police and Fire Rescue deemed the situation too dangerous for people to remain in the club and ordered an immediate evacuation of persons to Bega.
Approximately 200 people were loaded to buses and escorted out the town before the highway closed , leaving those of left to seek shelter , many of which , including myself and wife did so and headed directly to the ocean where remained until late Sunday.
Unfortunately the Eden chip mill located on the southern area of Twofold bay caught ablaze. This is one of the largest suppliers of bulk wood chip in Australia with in excess of 100 Million tonnes of chip bulk on fire and putting tonnes of additional smoke into the immediate air supply.
Fire authorities, including ADF personnel are still on site containing the fire some 16 days since it caught ablaze!
EDEN GARDENS COUNTRY CLUB.
Management had held significant fear to the Country Club given it adjoins a State forest with dense bush surrounding the entire golf course.
In the lead up to January 3, we had activated our fairway and green sprinkling system 24/7 in attempt to flood the course and act as a fire break had the fire come from the westerly direction.
As it eventuated, the fire remained to the south, however given the external conditions we had a 99 % loss of business activity and play for in excess of 10 days.
The Club surrounds have suffered damage to the outer fencing arising from forestry workers creating major fire breaks between the golf course boundary and forestry parameters and our water supply has become contained with ash and soot reducing the ability to irrigate greens and fairways.
Our single most immediate and ongoing issue is smoke which continues to remain at toxic levels with less than 40 players being recorded in the past 10 days.
Our golf professional has also incurred significant financial losses arising from the current situation and the Club is currently in discussions with Edward Tamsat in seeing what assistance we can provide at this immediate time.
Given the severity of the crisis, Club management closed the Country Club on December 30 and it is presently operating 2.5 days only as there are NO tourists in town and too few residents prepared to play whilst the smoke conditions prevail.
NSW BUSHFIRE RELIEF FUND
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