Origin donates $45,000 to local firefighters and volunteer groups who pitched in during New Year bushfire threat

APPRECIATED: Origin's Antony Cotic (second from right) with, from left, local RFS personnel Graham Parker, Callun Tracy and Rebecca Smith at Eraring Power Station on Friday. Picture: David Stewart
APPRECIATED: Origin's Antony Cotic (second from right) with, from left, local RFS personnel Graham Parker, Callun Tracy and Rebecca Smith at Eraring Power Station on Friday. Picture: David Stewart

ORIGIN has donated $45,000 to local volunteer organisations who worked to protect its Eraring Power Station and local communities during the New Year bushfires.

Origin donated $20,000 to Dora Creek Rural Fire Brigade.

A further $10,000 from Origin is being shared across the rural fire brigades at Cooranbong, Awaba, Peninsula and Martinsville who also supported the bushfire response.

Wangi Men's Shed, who worked with Wangi Lions Club to feed firefighters during the crisis, has received $10,000.

And $5000 has been given to Hunter Wildlife Rescue to assist with treating wildlife injured in the local fires.

Acting station manager at Eraring, Antony Cotic, said the bushfires at one point posed a serious threat to the station.

"But great work by the RFS and our crews ensured that there was no property damage and we were able to keep up the electricity supply to the community," Mr Cotic said.

Representatives of the local RFS brigades with Origin's Antony Cotic, left, and shift manager Sam Brayley, right. Picture: David Stewart

Representatives of the local RFS brigades with Origin's Antony Cotic, left, and shift manager Sam Brayley, right. Picture: David Stewart

Eraring has an ongoing program to maintain fire breaks and fire trails around the facility, but extra containment lines were put in place as the fire approached.

"Under the direction of the RFS we were able to clear an area about 20 metres wide to provide an extra buffer zone."

Mr Cotic said the donations were small compared to the value of the service provided to the community by the organisations.

"We're incredibly grateful to all of the firefighters who volunteer their time and regularly put themselves in harm's way to protect the community," he said.

Officer in charge at Dora Creek Rural Fire Brigade, Mark Chick, said the Origin donation came at a great time.

"We're looking at doing an extension at our station so that our three appliances don't have to squeeze into a two-bay station," he said.

Representatives of the other brigades said the donations would be used to purchase new equipment and for community education campaigns.

The local donations are in addition to the $300,000 donated by Origin to the Australian Red Cross Bushfire Appeal, the NSW and Queensland rural fire services and the Victorian Country Fire Authority, and $100,000 donated to Drought Angels.

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