Plans for what can only be described as an exciting project are rising from the ashes of a brutal bushfire.
Conjola Park and Lake Conjola suffered heavily when the bushfire blasted into the villages on New Years Eve.
Three people died and more than 130 homes were destroyed or damaged extensively when the Currowan fire hit the Conjola area on New Years' Eve.
Afterwards, it became apparent that major gaps had developed over the years when it came to planning for such disasters.
A plan, which is currently before Shoalhaven City Council, aims to make sure residents have somewhere to go if another disaster hits their villages.
The Hoylake Grove Reserve and Yooralla Bay are the centres of this plan.
The concept, among many other aspects, has plans for a much-needed emergency evaluation point which particularly for the Conjola Park residents was badly needed when the fire struck.
The Conjola Recovery group, led by Kim Harper and many other volunteers, have been playing a role in forming the plan.
However, the prime movers have been Lindy and Peter Dunn.
Peter remembers that terrible and confusing New Years Eve well.
"When the disaster occurred people started streaming down to the community hall," he said.
"There were no facilities at the top part of the lake (Conjola Park) and people were running around in fear and confusion."
The playground equipment at Hoylake Grove was destroyed.
"A lack of ways to communicate with the Conjola Park people who did not lose homes was also a cause for concern," Peter added.
It just happened that Peter and Lindy's son Brent, his partner Katharina Hendel and their son Enno were in the area.
Brent and Katharina have their own architect firm TAKT and while they were volunteering in the recovery centre they had various conversations with the residents.
"While they were working in the hall people were saying 'we need to get this fixed - we have got to get villages (Lake Conjola, Conjola Park) more connected'," Peter said.
Peter added it became apparent that over the years the two villages (Lake Conjola and Conjola Park) had grown apart.
Shortly after the fire, a number of groups including the Institute of Architects and local builders then ran a building process workshop in the Conjola Community Hall and Shoalhaven City Council was represented.
It was decided it would be a good time to talk to the community about what they needed and a concept plan was developed.
People had been saying they wanted bike paths and all sorts of facilities up in Conjola Park.
"One of the things that were looked at was an area for the community in Conjola Park so they could get together and if that is the case why not design so it could be an evacuation assembly point as well," Peter said.
The evacuation assembly point would be a place people could go and get instructions and assistance in time of emergency.
"People (at the workshop) looked at the plan and said 'wow'," Peter added.
Shoalhaven City Council CEO Stephen Dunshea visited the hall, saw the plan and was briefed on it.
Mr Dunsha was impressed and said the concept was great.
He asked for it to go from a concept plan to a strategic master plan.
Lindy and Peter spoke to members of the Minderoo Foundation who were looking to help the region recovery.
The Minderoo Foundation is a modern philanthropic organisation and has helped the region's bushfire recovery by providing things like temporary housing pods.
A submission for assistance was presented to the foundation.
"The Minderoo Foundation said they would fund it provided we did a fully professional master plan," Peter said.
"It had to be done by fully qualified people."
The plan is now finished and up for public consultation.
Peter added council have been heavily engaged throughout the process.
Council sees the facility as being a significant one for the community for many years to come.
"Council has been really enthusiastic players," Peter said.
Four NSW Government departments are aware of the project.
The Dunns lodged a conflict of interest, on several occasions including at a public meeting, as their son's company was being engaged to produce the master plan.
Lindy said council wants the work at Hoylake Grove Reserve to come first.
"This is the worst-hit area we always said this is where the focus is," Lindy said.
Lindy said getting a mooted bike path could be a longer process but something the community does want to see.
Previous plans had incorporated bike paths but Lindy said nothing has been done.
She agrees that reuniting the two sections of Conjola is needed in the future.
She does not think there will be too many objections to the plan.
The plan has provision to use of the lake as the easterly evaluation area.
"We need a point to give instructions and we need a jetty that is designed so people with disabilities, elderly people and children can easily get into boats," Peter said.
Some of the sand shoals in the water network may have to be cleared, he added.
The building will also have a storage area for a generator, blankets and water which will possibly be housed at the Conjola RFS station and kept on a trailer.
"As bad weather conditions come forward you drive the trailer up from the RFS shed to the evacuation assembly point," Peter said.
There are plans also for a small kitchenette and toilet/changerooms.
The community can use the facility's barbecue area for a place to meet and then if needed can be used as an evacuation assembly point.
The kitchenette could also be used by hospitality students to run a coffee shop over summer.
"This is a fantastic opportunity to give the people a community hub," Peter said.
Lindy said currently there was not even a toilet at the park.
Money for the project is being gathered.
"Between the two of us and a few others we have managed to raise something like $300,000," Lindy said.
Lindy said the funds will be put in a trust account so it's only used for the proposal.
She added the money they had raised was enough to start the project.
There is also a proposal and $10,000 for a memorial garden.
Lindy said if everything is done to a certain safety criteria and other stipulations were followed that further funds could be donated.
The bike path could be the only part of the project council will need to help fund.
Lindy said the idea is to start the bike path, for example, at both ends of Conjola (Park and Lake), meaning both sections of the community have a reason to keep the construction going.
"What we have here is something important for the community," Lindy said.
Peter would like to start the project tomorrow but will be forced to bide his time.
"All council departments have now looked at this (the plan) and if it gets the tick on the 'get involved webpage' it can be approved and work could start straight away," Peter said
They both hope the Shoalhaven ratepayers won't have to help fund the project.
Because of the high design's high standard, which was insisted upon by the donor, Peter said council have already said they would out add the project to its register of assets, which means they will take care of its maintenance and cleaning.
Peter and Lindy do not want to take credit for the plan.
"We have had a fantastic team and a team that has worked hard and tirelessly," Lindy who is a master at putting great submissions together said.