Council adds State Government report to bushfire planning

2018 South West Fires Community Report tile.jpg

As the second anniversary of the South West Complex Fires 2018 approaches, the State Government has released its report into the disaster.

Corangamite Shire Manager Environment and Emergency Lyall Bond said the report would add to Council’s resources when it came to planning for community safety.

“The 2018 fires had a significant impact on communities across Corangamite and neighbouring Shires and the purpose of this report is to identify what worked well, areas for improvement, and what improvements have been made since the fires,” Mr Bond said.

“The report shows that community engagement, community cohesion, efforts of agencies and community health assessments all worked well. Other areas, such as public information, community preparedness, terminology, traffic management and impact assessment could be improved.

“Council works closely with other municipalities, the State Government, CFA and other agencies to continuously improve our ability to respond to emergencies both during the immediate response and the recovery. The findings in this report form the State Government will be considered in future planning.”

The report has captured feedback directly from the community and areas of ongoing concern include perceived fire risks associated with vegetation management, roadside vegetation, and power distribution systems.

Mayor Neil Trotter encouraged Shire residents to look out for themselves, their families and neighbours.

“The devastating bushfires around the country in recent months are a reminder for vigilance, particularly here in Victoria which is one of the most fire-prone areas in the world.

“While having your fire plan in order is essential for the physical safety of you and your family, media coverage of other disasters can bring back memories for people directly and indirectly impacted by past events.

“If you find yourself getting anxious on a high fire danger day, or you notice someone is withdrawn or angry for no apparent reason, it could be a reaction to past stress hiding beneath the surface. Talk to your GP or call beyondblue on 1300 22 4636, Lifeline on

13 11 14 or Kid’s Helpline on 1800 55 1800.”

The final version of the 2018 South West Fires Community Report is available on the Emergency Management Victoria website.

Hard copies are available from the Civic Centre at 181 Manifold Street, Camperdown.

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