The tight-knit community of Cobargo has done it tough over the past year. In December 2019, bushfires devastated the small town in country NSW. A third of the main strip of the village was lost, and around 140 homes completely destroyed. People were forced to flee their properties in the early hours of New Year’s Eve, but there was nowhere to run; fires surrounded the village, and many frightened residents had no option but to gather at the village showground and shelter on the oval to stay safe.
Then, last week the village was hit with the recent floods in NSW. The town received around 400mm of rain, delaying the ongoing bushfire repairs .
But finally, Cobargo is getting some much-needed good fortune. They’re in the process of applying for a government grant to build the first multi-purpose Community Centre and Disaster Refuge in NSW. When it’s approved, Taubmans will provide the paint for the building, as well as volunteers to help paint it, expert colour advice and bespoke colour palettes that ensure the community’s wishes for a building that best fits within its environment are realised.
Taubmans partnered with Australian online charity GIVIT in March 2020 and launched the national In It Together paint drive to help communities impacted by bushfires, floods and prolonged drought. In the first year they raised $155,000 for relief and recovery efforts in these communities, as well as organising help from professional painters for community building projects. After the initial assistance given to communities, their long-term needs are now being addressed through the partnership. Supporting projects such as the Cobargo Community Centre and Disaster Refuge means the positive impact of donations is exponential, providing lasting and widespread community benefits.
“To have such strong support from a significant company like Taubmans and a leading charity such as GIVIT, has been tremendously encouraging for this community,” says Cobargo Community Bushfire Recovery Fund president, Zena Armstrong. “Taubmans will provide paint, help with volunteers and bring these new buildings together. The tremendous thing about GIVIT is that they’re still here – 15 months after this disaster. I think the community is very grateful they’ve stayed the course with us.”
The proposed community building will sit on the Cobargo Showground. Day to day it will be available for hire at low cost by community clubs and societies, and be home to music and cultural events that promote tourism and help to stimulate local economic recovery. As well as providing a community hub, it will be purpose built to also provide safe shelter in times of emergency, with easy access for everyone.
“It will be a place where people can take shelter in extreme weather events,” says Zena. “It will also be a heat and smoke refuge. So many people here have lost everything. We need a fit for purpose disaster refuge building.”
Cobargo isn’t the only community to benefit from Taubmans’ partnership with GIVIT and the In it Together paint drive. From parched outback farms in Mungindi, Queensland, to bushfire-affected communities in East Gippsland, Victoria, GIVIT has been able to provide essential items requested by people and communities doing it tough, purchasing goods locally wherever possible to also help stimulate local economic recovery.
As this year’s In it Together paint drive hits the half-way mark, Taubmans has pledged to donate at least $180,000 to support GIVIT’s ongoing work in bushfire, drought and flood hit regions.
To help our mates in the bush doing it tough due to bushfire, prolonged drought or floods, Taubmans has pledged to donate to GIVIT, $5 for every 4L tin of Taubmans Endure and Taubmans All Weather, and $2.50 for every 4L tin of Taubmans Easycoat and Taubmans Sunproof purchased from Bunnings, Taubmans and participating Bristol Paints and independent stores during the ‘In it Together’ paint drive. Look for the ‘In It Together’ signage in store.