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National award for Buxton memorial to fire heroes who lost their lives

At the official opening of the Telopea Park memorial to the two firefighters who lost their lives trying to protect Buxton residents the list of dignitaries included the Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Then NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian, RFS Commissioner Rob Rogers and Resilience NSW Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons also attended the December 2020 opening, pictured aboved.

In attendance that day were also family members of the two fallen firefighters, Geoffrey Keaton and Andrew O’Dwyer, who lost their lives in the Green Wattle Creek bushfire at Buxton in December 2019.

Wollondilly Council decided to honour the two Horsley Park RFS Brigade heroes with the distinctive memorial playground at Telopea Park.

The project involved collaboration between Wollondilly Shire Council, Buxton RFS, Horsley Park RFS, NSW RFS, Wingecarribee Shire Council, and community groups and businesses.

Now the Telopea Park RFS Fire Truck Memorial Playground has won a national award.

It took out the Best Regional Rural Industry Contribution category at the 2021 Parks & Leisure Australia awards.

“Wollondilly Council is honoured to receive this national award for a project that we are extremely proud of,’’ says CEO Ben Taylor.

“The fire truck playground at Telopea Park is an ongoing reminder to the Buxton community of the sacrifice that was made to protect their village during the devastating Green Wattle Creek Fire.

“I’d like to thank the community advocates, particularly the Buxton RFS, who successfully secured a range of external funding towards the playground equipment.

“This was a truly collaborative effort between Council, the RFS and the community,’’ Mr Taylor said.

The park is now enjoyed by local families as well as many visitors to the area and stands as a legacy for current and future generations to gather, play and reflect.

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