Kempsey Community Resilience - Creating Strong Foundations

Local Government Area: Kempsey Shire Council


The Kempsey Shire Council area, located on the mid-north coast of New South Wales, Australia, is a region characterised by its diverse landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and strong sense of community. The area encompasses towns such as Kempsey, Southwest Rocks, Crescent Head, and Hat Head, offering residents and visitors a unique blend of coastal beauty and rural charm.

Kempsey Shire is renowned for its pristine beaches, including the iconic Crescent Head, a surfing paradise. The Macleay River, flowing through the region, provides opportunities for water-based activities like fishing and boating. The surrounding hinterland showcases picturesque countryside, making it an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts and hikers.

Culturally, Kempsey Shire is significant for its Aboriginal heritage, with the Dunghutti people being the traditional custodians of the land. The region celebrates its indigenous history through various events and festivals, fostering understanding and appreciation of the local culture.

The community thrives on agriculture, tourism, and a strong artistic community. Local markets and festivals highlight the area's produce, crafts, and talents. Kempsey Shire Council actively promotes sustainable practices and environmental conservation, emphasizing the importance of preserving the region's natural beauty for future generations.

Recent significant bushfires in the area:

  • 2023: The Kempsey bushfire burned for several weeks, impacting many of the Upper Macleay communities. 46% of the Shire burned and 340 houses, outbuildings and fences were damaged or destroyed. One person lost their life.
  • 2020: The Black Summer bushfires burned across large parts of Australia, including the Kempsey Shire. Over 120,000 hectares of land were burned, with significant damage to property and infrastructure.
  • 2017: The Hat Head bushfire burned for over a week, destroying 12 homes and damaging many others.
  • 2016: The Willawarrin bushfire burned for over two weeks, destroying 10 homes and damaging many others.
  • 2015: The Temagog bushfire burned for over a week, destroying 4 homes and damaging many others. 

FOCUS: Kempsey Community Resilience Network 

Kempsey Shire Council's Community Recovery Team plays a vital role in the post-disaster landscape, particularly in collaboration with NSW Reconstruction Authority (NSW RA). The team's primary purpose is to facilitate the recovery and rebuilding efforts within the community following natural disasters such as floods, bushfires, or other emergencies. This dedicated group of professionals works tirelessly to support residents and businesses affected by these events, aiming to restore normalcy and build resilience.

One key aspect of the Community Recovery Team's role is to coordinate and implement recovery programs and initiatives. This includes working closely with various stakeholders, government agencies, and community organisations to assess the needs of the affected population and develop targeted strategies for reconstruction. By fostering collaboration and communication, the team aims to optimise resources and ensure a comprehensive and effective recovery process. This collaborative approach aligns seamlessly with the broader efforts of NSW RA, which focuses on coordinating statewide recovery efforts and enhancing the resilience of communities across New South Wales.

Through the establishment of a Community Resilience Network, the Community Recovery Team aims to establish a network where organisations and service providers who do not have a direct seat at the Local Emergency Management Committee can find out information and have an opportunity to have a say in the Disaster Preparedness, recovery and resilience. It plays a pivotal role in disseminating relevant information, providing support to individuals and businesses navigating the recovery process, and advocating for the community's needs.

Workshop Date: 30 November 2023

Number of participants: 15

Partners: Kempsey Shire Council, MNCJO

Hear about the network and utilisation of the Simtable: