Media Releases

Media releases from the Office of Susan Templeman MP.

Enquiries from the media should be directed to the Media Adviser via the Electorate Office on (02) 4573 8222 or via email to [email protected]


November 04, 2020

Blackheath residents will get help to learn more about bushfire safety apps thanks to a grant secured by Federal Member for Macquarie, Susan Templeman.


Blackheath Area Neighbourhood Centre (BANC’s) CYBER_SHED was granted $2100 to enable it to collaborate with the award-winning Heads Up For Fire (HUFF), delivering workshops on fire safety apps ahead of the 2020/21 bushfire season.


“The train-the-trainer workshops are run for local volunteers, who in turn help coach their neighbours on how to use the NSW Rural Fire Services apps My Fire Plan and Fires Near Me,” Ms Templeman said.


“I think we all know that people may well need to make their own decisions during a bushfire crisis, and that government authorities won’t always be able to be by their side to give directions. The more we do to empower people to think about the possible situations beforehand, the better they will be at the time of crisis.


“I’m really pleased to be able to help secure this funding under the Volunteers Grant to make sure that people of the area are prepared for bushfires.”


Six workshops were due to run across October to help HUFF facilitators feel confident teaching their neighbours how to download, install and use both of the apps.


CYBER_SHED Coordinator Simon Hare said the workshops were timely.


“This is a timely community intervention, after last year’s disastrous bushfire season, where fire came right to people’s back gardens all around Blackheath,” he said.


BANC’s CYBER_SHED sees digital literacy as a critical skill to engage with the modern world, and teaches the use of tablets, smart phones, laptops, and desktops, which allows people to negotiate internet basics and stay in touch with family and friends.


It runs several projects, including a digital devices loan scheme. Ten low-cost Android tablets were purchased that were loaded with a  small WiFi data pack so vulnerable seniors could borrow them for three months to try online life.


Each borrower attends four one-hour introductory sessions, and borrowing is free.


CYBER_SHED is open Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 9.30am to 4.30pm. For more information, contact 4787 7770.