Bayside Council staff dig deep for bushfire victims

Bayside Council staff have donated over $18,000 in payroll deductions and given up Long Service Leave days to support those affected by the bushfire crisis.

Bayside mayor Joe Awada read out a Mayoral Minute at last night's council meeting officially acknowledging the council staff for "demonstrating such camaraderie towards their fellow Australians in these unprecedented times".

He noted the generous level of community fund-raising achieved at Bayside's Christmas and Australia Day functions.

Bayside residents have donated a further $2,000 at recent council events and customer service centres.

"I am proud of Bayside Council, as one of the first NSW councils to put up our hand and register our willingness to participate in the bushfire clean-up effort being coordinated by Local Government NSW and the Office of Local Government," Councillor Awada swaid.

"In registering, we have offered to provide specialist skills as needed to rebuild communities. This includes lending our qualified mechanics, engineers, waste and cleansing teams, and communications professionals as and when they are needed."

Last December, Bayside Council donated $15,000 to the NSW Farmers Drought Relief Fund and another $15,000 shared equally between Red Cross, St Vincent De Paul Society and Rural Fire Service.

"At that time, little did we know that the weeks over Christmas and New Year would be so devastating for our country," Cr Awada said.

"However, through the crisis comes generosity of spirit."

Recently, Cr Awada attended a meeting of Sydney Metropolitan Mayors to discuss other ideas and initiatives to help those councils most in need.

To help channel the overwhelming number of offers of donated goods, the NSW Government has commissioned the national not-for-profit organisation GIVIT to oversee and coordinate distribution of much-needed goods and services to bushfire-affected communities across the state.

"The level of genuine kindness and desire to support those in need is truly indicative of Aussie mateship and our way of life," Cr Awada said said