New local recovery coordinator announced for Pinery fire recovery effort
Serving police officer Alex Zimmermann has been appointed local recovery coordinator for the community affected by the Pinery fire, replacing the outgoing Vince Monterola.
Mr Zimmermann will start today.
Mr Monterola, who has performed the role since November 2015, has decided not to extend his contract for personal reasons.
Mr Zimmermann is currently a Chief Inspector with SA Police and Local Service Area Commander for the Barossa region. He is experienced in working with local communities and emergency management.
He has been appointed to the role for nine months, and will be based at the Recovery Centre at the Gawler TAFE campus.
The Pinery fire occurred on 25 November and, tragically, two people were killed. It burnt more than 83,000 hectares, destroyed 97 homes and about 630 other structures, causing extensive damage to vehicles, equipment and crops.
The Local Recovery Coordinator works with the local community to coordinate the long and difficult journey to community recovery.
The Recovery Centre in Gawler offers many important services including health and wellbeing services, information about insurance and other advice and support.
Earlier this month, the State and Federal governments announced new funding of up to $10,000 to assist farmers clean up, remove debris, repair damaged equipment and improve their soil.
For more information about fire recovery, visit www.sa.gov.au/recovery.
Communities and Social Inclusion Minister Zoe Bettison said:
Vince Monterola has been very hard-working, enthusiastic and committed during his time as local recovery coordinator. He has shown great dedication to the individuals and communities impacted by the Pinery fire.
His collaborative approach has built strong and effective working relationships with government, non-government organisations and community members involved in the recovery.
I thank him for his efforts, and wish him well for the future.
I welcome Alex Zimmermann to the role and am confident he will continue to provide a high level of support to help the local community recover from the fire.
Retiring Local Recovery Coordinator Vince Monterola said:
I have appreciated the opportunity to support people affected by the disastrous fire and am confident that Alex will continue to support this strong and resilient community to recover.
I would like to give my thanks to the many community members and other people who have supported me in this role, and wish them all the best as they continue this important recovery work.
Local Recovery Coordinator Alex Zimmermann said:
I look forward to working with the community affected by the Pinery fire to support their economic, social and environmental recovery.
To make sure the recovery efforts continue smoothly, I will begin in the role before Vince leaves. This will ensure that we maintain the momentum and support for the ongoing recovery efforts.