A TAFE NSW course aimed at empowering local bushfire victims to learn to rebuild damaged fences on their farm properties - and save thousands of dollars in the process - is coming to Cooma.
The Statement of Attainment in Farm Fencing, a fee-free three-day course that includes units in constructing both an electric and a traditional fence, will run at TAFE NSW, Cooma from May 27 to May 29.
The Black Summer bushfires in Australia burnt an estimated 18.6 million hectares and destroyed almost 6000 buildings. TAFE NSW Head Teacher of Agriculture Rob Harris said the course was a practical way TAFE NSW could help communities rebuild.
"TAFE NSW is proud to be assisting in the recovery effort and courses like this are helping provide the skills needed to help rebuild devastated communities," Mr Harris said.
"Rebuilding farm fencing costs up to $4000 per kilometre in labour alone and by empowering landholders to construct the fencing themselves, TAFE NSW is helping them save many thousands of dollars."
Janice Reynolds, who with her husband runs a 3000-acre sheep and cattle property near Adelong, completed the fee-free course at TAFE NSW Tumut and said now felt better equipped to help in the important farm infrastructure rebuilding effort.
"We lost boundary fences at two of the farms during the fires and it has created an enormous financial bill for us," Mrs Reynolds said.
"I've been on farms my whole life but the last time I did any real fencing was in 1983, So when a free fence building course came up at TAFE NSW, I thought 'you beauty'.
"I got a lot out of the course and I've already been out helping rebuild some of our fencing.
The farm fencing course is one of a range of fee-free courses being offered by TAFE NSW to bushfire-affected communities.
To find out more, phone 13 16 01 or visit www.tafensw.edu.au/bushfire-relief.