Wollondilly Council officially launched its customised, state-of-the-art mobile recovery and resilience vehicle this morning.

Funded through the Bushfire Community Recovery and Resilience Fund, the Resilient Wollondilly Van will be used to provide immediate outreach support to impacted residents and businesses during and immediately after a disaster.

“The Resilient Wollondilly Van will provide critical support for our communities when they need it the most, and reduce the need for residents to travel long distances in order to access support following a disaster,” Mayor Matt Gould said.

“It will also enable us to offer community programs focused on education, awareness and social connection.”

Anthony D’Adam MLC, Parliamentary Secretary for Customer Service and Digital Government, Emergency Services and Youth Justice, cut the ribbon, officially adding the van to the Council’s fleet of community outreach vehicles.

The Resilient Wollondilly Van will be instrumental in establishing community recovery points, connecting residents with essential services, and supporting and distributing short term supplies.

Its customised fit-out provides storage and equipment, including solar panels, lithium battery, work station, satellite internet, fridge, defibrillator and generator.

The need for a mobile disaster recovery point was identified after the 2019/20 Black Summer bushfires, which affected people in a number of towns and villages across Wollondilly Shire.

Afterward, two key recovery points were established in Picton and Balmoral Village and while both provided great support, their locations required residents to travel.

When the van is not being used for recovery purposes it will be used for resilience-building projects including community education and awareness programs, social programs aimed at increasing connectedness, and opportunities for residents to connect with services.

Funding for the Resilient Wollondilly Van project has been provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) via the Bushfire Community Recovery and Resilience Fund.