The dramatic bush fires that have swept through the small seaside hamlet of Tathra in NSW make everyone in the country take a deep breath. Some 69 houses have been lost in a town of about 1,600 people and the images on the TV screens and news services are devastating as we see streets where some houses are wiped out and the one next door appears to have gone untouched. Fortunately, and with very sincere congratulations to the fire and emergency services on the scene, there has been no human fatalities.
Natural disasters are something that we are all used to seeing, but until it touches us on home soil it just seems to hurt so much more. For all those in the travel and tourism industry that may have been impacted by this event directly, our hearts and minds go out to you at this time.
It is very pleasing to see that both the Prime Minister and NSW Premier have already been on site and talked with the locals to get a full perspective of the gravity of the situation and no doubt will pledge support from both governments as families start the dreadful task of rebuilding their lives. Some people have lost absolutely everything as they fled for safety and perhaps only today will be allowed to return home to see what if anything is left.
As more information becomes available for support and how people can help in this circumstance, we will get the word out. From the contact that has been made so far there will be a number of ways to do this, but it is still too early and it will take a few more days for things to be fully established and organised. The travel industry is a compassionate bunch of people and I know from past events of this magnitude the reaching out to support and help from industry has been amazing. Our thoughts and prayers are will all those who have been impacted.