NSW Governor Margaret Beazley was moved by what she saw and heard during a visit to Adelong and Batlow on Thursday, March 12.
Her Excellency was visiting the towns to see the extent of the damage from the Dunns Road bushfire and how their people were coping in the aftermath.
“Adelong and Batlow are beautiful towns and have wonderful people,” she said.
“They have been through a difficult time and have been very affected by what happened and it is important that this is conveyed to the government.
“People are emotional, and that comes out when you ask them how they are doing.”
Her Excellency said the recovery effort was amazing and met with and paid tribute to the emergency services for their efforts.
“I told them that they had been dedicated to the emergency services for a long time, and that if they hadn’t, they wouldn’t have been able to do what they did during the fires, even though they were unprecedented,” she said.
Emergency services staff and volunteers were shouted lunch at the Batlow Hotel.
She visited BlazeAid headquarters at Adelong Showground and was greatly impressed by what she saw.
“It was extraordinary,” she said.
She stopped to talk with people in the street in Adelong and visited a fire-affected orchard in Batlow.
“It wasn’t completely destroyed but it was confronting seeing the burnt trees,” she said.
She met with Batlow Technology School captains Jack Gould and Bree Bowman and was greatly impressed with them.
“They are wonderful young people and natural leaders,” she said.
While in Adelong, Her Excellency contacted ABC radio presenter Simon Mahoney.
“I said ‘I’m in Adelong and it is a town you should get to know and support,” she said.
“It is a wonderful area and a place people should be visiting.”
Snowy Valleys Mayor James Hayes was among the local representatives to be involved in the visit.
“The school leaders (Batlow Technology School captains Jack Gould and Bree Bowman) were fantastic and it was a great opportunity for them to meet other leaders,” he said.
“It was a really, really positive day and we need more days like that.”