Honour crash, bushfire fallen

IN a solemn first meeting for 2020, Cumberland Councillors paused twice to hold a minute’s silence for separate condolence motions.

The first pause came as part of a motion to honour the lives lost and suffering caused by the devastation of this summer’s bushfire crisis.
Mayor Steve Christou also successfully called for a second $15,000 donation to the Salvation Army Disaster Appeal from the council’s Emergency Relief Fund.
Councillors had earlier authorised a donation in November of $15,000 to the Salvo’s appeal, along with $2,320 raised at a series of fundraising barbecues hosted by Cr Christou, other councillors and staff members.
Noting the “fierce grass fire” that occurred in bushland at Greystanes and Pemulwuy on New Year’s Eve, Cr Christou added that the council was “working with local fire authorities to develop a bushfire mitigation plan”.
A short time later the councillors also unanimously accepted a call by Cr Eddy Sarkis to hold another minute’s silence in memory of the four children killed after being hit by an alleged drunk driver in Oatlands on Saturday, February 1.
He said the tragedy was deeply felt by everyone and a separate call by Cr Joe Rahme for the council to donate $2,000 to a homeless charity supported by the Abdulah and Sakr families of the four children, also received unanimous support.
Cr Rahme also pledged to donate his councillor stipend to the same charity.