Resilient buildings to prepare for disasters

View of The Memo from the front of the building

Community facilities will be more comfortable, energy efficient and ready for disasters, thanks to funding from the State and Federal Governments.

Council’s Climate Resilient Buildings for Our Community project will see nine facilities improved to be more energy efficient and ready to be activated in case of widespread power failure.

Facilities being improved through the project include:

  • Coldstream Community Centre,
  • Healesville Memorial Hall (The Memo),
  • Powelltown Reserve Pavilion,
  • Warburton-Millgrove Sporting Complex,
  • Yarra Centre Pool and stadium,
  • Yarra Glen Memorial Hall and RSL,
  • Monbulk Community Link,
  • Olinda Recreation Reserve Pavilion
  • Gary Tait Pavilion, Kilsyth

Yarra Ranges Deputy Mayor, Johanna Skelton, said the works would mean that in the event of storm, heatwave, fire or flood, community would have a place to go.

“When disaster strikes and power goes out, the community need somewhere safe to go, ideally close to home, where they can access supplies and chat with people who can help them,” Cr Skelton said.

“When this project finishes in early-2024, people in every corner of the Yarra Ranges will have a community facility nearby that can operate from battery power and generators. This is the kind of facility we need as climate change increases the rate of extreme weather events.

“Each site will have its own specific upgrades, but a focus of this project is to make sure each building is well-insulated and sealed, so they need less energy to run and air stays cleaner inside. This also means that if a disaster strikes, the batteries on site – charged by rooftop solar if air quality permits – can run for longer.

“Residents will recall how important being able to access charging points for phones, battery packs, torches, radios and other devices was in the aftermath of last years storm. Access to showers, water, a comfortable place to warm up or cool down and an information hub will be possible at these locations too.

“Buildings that use less energy and create solar power all year round, as well as prepare us for emergencies, are the goal. It’s not fun to think about when we’ll need to use these additions, but we know now, more than ever, that we need to be better prepared.

“Of course, this wouldn’t be possible without the support of the State Government, through the Growing Suburbs Fund, and the Federal Government, through the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure fund.

“Thank you to the State and Federal Governments for recognising the importance of this project, particularly as we pass the one year anniversary of the catastrophic June 2021 storms.”

The Memo in Healesville, Yarra Glen Memorial Hall and Coldstream Community Centre will be the first facilities upgraded, with works starting in August.

On days of extreme or catastrophic Fire Danger Rating, or when major bushfire activity is predicted in the area, leaving the area early is always the safest option.

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