Northern Grampians Shire Council has received funding from the State Government’s “Safer Together” program for a community based bushfire preparedness program in Halls Gap.
The program, known as the Halls Gap Community Preparedness and Resilience Project, intends to provide locally relevant resources to residents to help them prepare and respond to bushfire emergencies.
The project hopes to draw on community knowledge to assist with the development of fire preparedness information, household fire planning, and business contingency planning specific to Halls Gap.
The project will encourage participation from all sectors of the Halls Gap community, learning from their local experiences and integrating some of that knowledge throughout the project.
The first step in the project is to carry out a survey to establish what resources and support are essential to emergency preparedness in Halls Gap. The survey results will help assess local interest in the potential formation of a Halls Gap Community Resilience Group, fire preparedness and fuel reduction research, individual and business fire planning workshops and the development of accessible local emergency information.
The project will engage a number of key stakeholders such as the residential community, Halls Gap and surrounding businesses, those who work in Halls Gap, and those absentee residents who are land owners yet reside outside of the immediate area.
The community consultation survey is accessible from the Have Your Say portal on council’s website from 23 November until 31 December 2020 and will be followed up with a series of presentations.
Northern Grampians Shire Council Mayor, Cr Murray Emerson, said this project represented a critical part of the emergency planning framework for Halls Gap.
“Halls Gap is recognised as one of our most at-risk communities in the event of a fire,” he said.
“We are very thankful to receive State Government funding that will enable our Halls Gap residents to have access to experts, research, and a raft of resources that will support them in the event of a fire-related emergency.
“It’s absolutely pertinent that this project is informed by the residents themselves because local knowledge is everything in preparing and surviving an emergency.
“I actively encourage the entire Halls Gap community to take part.”
Survey responses can be submitted via www.ngshire.vic.gov.au/preparehallsgap by Friday 31 December 2020.