This week on the Local Update we’re forgetting about Covid 19 briefly. Our regular guest, Graham Farram, continues his look at the history of Newspapers in Bega. He also uses the slight ease in isolation restrictions as an excuse to look at the condition of our local roads… 100 years ago that is. 

After the start we’ve just had to 2020, it’s understandable that we’re hearing terms like ‘the worst year in history’ bandied around. In all honesty though my family are among more than 70 families in the region that would argue in fact that 2018 was that awful year.

All that remains of the family home

On the afternoon of March 18 2018 powerlines blew together in strong winds, the sparks caused by them blowing together started a fire that would change many lives forever.

In the space of half an hour fire had travelled from Reedy Swamp road, outside Tarraganda, along the Bega river. The fire took out houses in the bush behind Mogareeka, Tathra River Estate and a number of houses in Tathra itself.

In August of that year we were back at it again. Outside Bemboka water bombing aircraft worked to try and save as many properties as possible on Yankees Gap road. Unfortunately, again, a number of houses were lost.

Jan Harris lived, with her family, on a property on Vimi Ridge, outside Tathra. Two years after the fire took their home, Jan says it’s easy to feel somewhat forgotten in amongst the aftermath of more recent disasters. She says there are a number of important conversations that we either avoid or forget to have. Whilst it’s true that those working on the rebuild process are doing a lot of wonderful things, the process is being pushed forward quickly. At times, Jan says, we forget to ask the obvious questions ‘how do you feel’ or ‘are you ok?’

If this story has raised any concerns for you contact lifeline on 131 114 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636. In NSW the team at Service NSW also have bushfire emergency specific support services available. 


The most important thing to take away from this is that we need to take the time to check in with one another and make sure everyone is actually OK. It is ok to not be ok