First came the fire, then came the flood.
Living on a large bush acreage at Bumbalong between Michelago and Bredbo, with the massive Clear Range to the west, a bushfire threat was always present and beekeeper Liz Cotton had taken out fire insurance just in case.
But the flood which followed was something she had never anticipated, nor insured against.
Two weeks after the raging Clear Range bushfire had encircled her home on February 1 last year and passed through - thankfully, leaving her house and workshop intact - the tiny creek near her house which occasionally trickles down into the Murrumbidgee River turned into a raging torrent.
"We had some rain one night, I was asleep in bed, and woke up to this roaring sound," she said.
"Basically what I was hearing was the ground moving. The fire had ripped away so much of the trees and ground cover that when the rain fell behind the [mountain] range, it just carved a new path and carried everything down with it, earth, massive trees, stumps and things, down into the Murrumbidgee."
The flood skirted her house but carried away her entire workshop, where she created balms and beeswax products, and left only the concrete slab.
"There was a 10,000-litre water tank next to it [the workshop] that I've never seen again. Every now and again, as we're working in the paddocks, we turn up just random things carried down in the flood. Just recently we found a sewing machine."
After the drama of the fires, when she lost 12 of the 14 hives she had carefully nurtured and split over the years to build up her business Bumbalong Bees, the flood was another awful blow.
"I was pretty traumatised by it all. That was a really tough time. But I still had my house and so many of my neighbours had lost their houses to the fires that I was lucky, in a way," she said.
What bouyed her confidence, however, was the volunteer help which came her way and the advice she received, as well as several supportive grants from Rotary, to help her buy new hives and kick-start her business again, and from the NSW government.
"I know there's a lot of people down the South Coast who are still doing it tough, even now. But perhaps it was because fewer people were affected here, and they [the government] could be more targeted in their assistance," she said.
On Monday in Cooma, the business and recovery hub which assisted Ms Cotton and small local businesses like hers, opened its new premises in Vale Street with two dedicated officers from the local council and a regional manager funded by the NSW government.
"Having local support is so important; there are so many times where I've been so close to chucking it all in but Ben [Verning, the regional business manager] has talked me around, given me good advice, and I've pushed on," she said.
However, even the new hub is finding the latest challenges to Cooma and its region - a skills and housing shortage, together with skyrocketing rent prices placing big barriers in front of newcomers wanting to move to the district - a stretch for its capabilities.
Richard Spencer, a customer experience manager for Business Australia, said those specific issues were not helping matters as small and medium-sized regional businesses slowly recovered from bushfires, floods and COVID-19.
"It's a real problem. House prices are going up significantly, rents are going up. I guess it's a nice problem to have if you live there but if you can't get the skilled people [into Cooma], you can't drive the businesses forward," he said.
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