A wood bank to provide free firewood to needy people through winter should be set up in Orange, a councillor has claimed.
Cr Glenn Taylor said the recent felling of six trees at the picnic ground at the Pinnacle Reserve on Mount Canobolas was probably done by people who could not afford to buy firewood.
He said Orange City Council and welfare agencies including the Salvation Army and the St Vincent de Paul Society should work together to make the scheme work.
“I think a lot of people can’t afford the wood in Orange,” he said.
I hate the thought of people being cold in Orange.Cr Glenn Taylor
“I hate the thought of people being cold in Orange.
“I think it was an act of desperation.”
Cr Taylor said helping the needy would get to “the nub of the problem” of people cutting down trees.
“It’s got a lot of merit,” he said.
“I think it is something we need to address.”
Cr Taylor said he would encourage the public to donate wood to add to timber collected by council staff from fallen tree limbs and other tree maintenance programs around the council area.
“Orange City Council would establish a wood bank where the community would [also] be able to donated wood,” he said.
Cr Taylor said an area, possibly on council land, could be used to store and hand out firewood to people who had approval from charities.
“I want it targeted at the right people,” he said.
“They would know that they can go and get some wood if they needed it.
“The Salvos and the St Vincent de Paul people would do the venting in regards to who’s eligible and who’s not.
“I’m talking about the real needy, the people in desperate need, particularly kids and the older people.”
Cr Taylor said the community and council could also make cash donations which could go to helping the needy pay power bills.
He said the wood bank should operate from April-October but he said the detail of setting it up might mean it could not happen this year.
“It would be quite complex to set up,” he said.
Cr Taylor said he take his plan to the next council meeting on Tuesday night.
Council staff found six large trees had been cut down with a chainsaw at the Pinnacle Reserve.
One of the trees was about 80 years old, another was burnt at the site, and four of them were green and difficult to burn for a fire.