The East Gippsland Bushfire Recovery Committee has released its Second Recovery Progress Report.
The report details the initiatives, achievements and goals of community and agencies working in partnership on bushfire recovery, including:
- Detailed snapshots for our impacted districts, including impacts, community-led recovery initiatives, key achievements and future goals.
- Recovery works and progress within the five pillars of recovery – Built, Natural and Social Environment, Culture and Healing, and Economic.
- The impact of COVID-19 on recovery and acknowledging while every recovery journey is different, overall experts are indicating that recovery is delayed, and wellbeing of our community has been impacted by the pandemic.
East Gippsland Shire Council Chief Executive Officer and Recovery Committee Chair, Anthony Basford said the Second Progress Report acknowledges the work undertaken to date to support recovery, with a focus on the past six months since the report published in September 2020. In particular, the report highlights the significant work of Community Recovery Committees and representative groups who are leading recovery at a local level.
“It has been 15 months since the bushfires and while this may seem a long time, we know recovery can continue for many years. Recent research from University of Melbourne is recommending a five-year recovery framework,” Mr Basford said.
“Council and the committee appreciate the significant investment made by so many, in so many ways, in what is a long-term recovery for our region,” Mr Basford said.
“The committee acknowledges the noticeable positive signs of recovery. A significant amount of damaged or destroyed infrastructure is now back in place, and following the disruption of COVID, communities are re-engaging and re-connecting.”
Across the shire, public infrastructure is largely restored with a focus now on strengthening resilience. Home rebuilding is underway. Some residents are in new homes, while others are waiting until they are ready to make these important decisions. Financial investment and support continue to be provided to impacted business and investments, as identified by community, to support economic recovery.
“A lot has been achieved to rebuild our communities, but there is a lot more to be done,” Mr Basford said.
“Over the next six months the committee will continually reassess recovery needs and focus on identified priorities. We will actively seek to support those in the community who still need help.
“Working with community and agencies on individual, community and infrastructure preparedness and resilience will be a priority. There will also be a strong focus on engaging with Community Recovery Committees and representative groups to ensure critical information from these committees and groups informs future planning,” Mr Basford said.
The East Gippsland Bushfire Recovery Committee’s Second Progress Report is now available and hard copies are available at Council’s Customer Service Centres, Bushfire Recovery Victoria hubs or by phoning Council to request a copy on 03 5153 9500.
The East Gippsland Bushfire Recovery Committee is co-chaired by Council and Bushfire Recovery Victoria.