Looking to the future
By RACHEL SCOLLAY
KYOGLE is a town that shines in the face of adversity ? just ask Tom Rogers.
Mr Rogers is the co-organiser of a street party this evening to support 140 Norply workers thrown out of jobs following a fire which destroyed their timber factory.
And he wants the whole town to be there. Norply workers will be briefed at a closed meeting at 5.30pm on how to access a disaster relief fund. As soon as they leave the Kyogle Memorial Institute, Mr Rogers wants them to see the whole town out in force in Stratheden Street.
"We want everyone to turn up and show their support," he said.
"It's a free barbecue and some of the local musicians are providing free entertainment. People from out of Kyogle can come as well because the town also needs their support."
Co-organiser Samantha Muller said the town was really grieving.
"We haven't had the chance to get together as a community and say: 'We're going to be right. We feel sad, but we'll pull together'."
Ms Muller said the Kyogle Emergency Disaster Relief Fund was not only for Norply workers. It also was for contractors who had been reliant on Norply for income.
"For example, there's a woodchip company and they've now picked up their last tonnage of wood chips," she said.
"And for the contractor, that's all he does. We want to be able to supply food and immediate essentials, before the government funding and subsidies kick in."
Fundraising will get into full swing at the street party. A cow in calf, donated by district farmer Col Anderson, will be auctioned. Bidding is expected to start at $800.
"What's happened is people who are really affected, like local businesses, are dipping into their pockets for this appeal," Mr Rogers said.
"I guess that's what Kyogle has always been about. In times of need or hardship, we all pull together, which is fantastic."