MURRAY Leisure Centre has been praised for its contribution to the community during the Yarloop Fire earlier this year.
The Leisure Institute of WA (LIWA) presented its 2016 Community Spirit Award to the centre at the LIWA Aquatics State Conference Dinner.
Shire president Maree Reid said it was an honour to have been chosen, particularly in the circumstances around which the centre’s efforts were recognised.
“Murray Leisure Centre staff quickly and effectively mobilised resources and halted ordinary operations to transform the facility into an Emergency Evacuation Centre,’’ she said.
“The staff’s positive, can-do attitude and commitment to accommodating the evacuees of the devastating fire ensured the centre was efficiently run and that it offered a welcoming environment for evacuees.’’
The Emergency Evacuation Centre accommodated more 582 evacuees during its seven-day operation and saw volunteers donate almost 750 hours to centre duties.
Cr Reid said the centre’s success attests to the community’s selflessness as councillors, shire and leisure centre officers, community groups and associations, local, regional and state businesses and organisations and individual community members who willingly came together to accommodate the victims through donations of time, accommodation and/or items.’
The Yarloop Fire, which started on Wednesday, January 6 in Lane Pool Reserve as a result of lightening, burned through more than 75,664ha across the Shires of Waroona and Harvey over 17 days, destroying 181 properties, large areas of farm land including prime dairy and beef regions and resulting in the loss of two lives.