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East Gippsland Fires Recovery Plan released

Wednesday 09 September

The East Gippsland Fires Recovery Plan 2019-20 has today been released by East Gippsland Shire Council.

 

The plan is the road map for the region’s recovery and contains strategies for general recovery planning and management, and sub-plans for natural environment, built environment, social environment, economic, and, for the first time in Victoria, culture and healing recovery.

 

The plan is the work of the East Gippsland Recovery Committee, established in January while the region was still in the response and relief phases of the bushfires. About 20 government and non-government agencies have since worked together on a coordinated response to recovery.

 

East Gippsland Shire Council and Bushfire Recovery Victoria (BRV) jointly lead the committee, which provides strategic oversight and support to the coordination and planning of recovery activities across the shire.

 

Chair of the committee, Council Chief Executive Officer Anthony Basford said the committee provides the coordination for all things happening around recovery.

 

“Much of the work goes unseen in such issues are raised and dealt with by the relevant agencies. We then move on to the next recovery challenge or opportunity,” Mr Basford said.

 

“Since January the committee has met regularly to ensure issues that come up for community are addressed in a way that is positive and can make a real difference in community.

 

“There’s been a lot of work done by communities, by organisations, by government, but there’s still a lot of work to do.”

 

Mr Basford said having a recovery plan for East Gippsland that responds to needs from community, supports communities to create their own recovery plans. It also aligns with the recently announced state plan is a key milestone.

 

 “It’s critical the important the work of agencies and organisations is coordinated. It allows everyone to see and understand how the work of agencies is going to help the community,” Mr Basford said.

 

The recovery plan brings together existing information, plans, research and current knowledge.

 

“Importantly, most of the people who have developed this plan live and work in our shire and were themselves professionally or personally impacted or involved in the summer fires,” Mr Basford said.

 

The four main goals of the plan are to:

  • Support our communities and environment to recover and stablise.
  • Support future enabling resilient communities, ensuring our community is in a better position to thrive.
  • Reduce the economic, environmental and social impact of the fires, which has since been exacerbated by COVID-19, border closures, floods, drought and a whole range of other weather events.
  • Ensure recovery activities are well coordinated.

 

“The Commonwealth and State have invested in East Gippsland. What we want to make sure is that when there are opportunities for funding and investment that we have a plan; we have a program, ideas and projects that can be funded. That is what this plan also puts on the table,” Mr Basford said.

 

“This plan will help us recover well and ultimately thrive because East Gippsland is a fantastic place to live and we want to make sure it continues to be that way.”

 

This is version one of the recovery plan and as new issues or priorities emerge, including from Community Recovery Committees, these can be reflected in a subsequent version of the plan.

 

The East Gippsland Recovery Committee has also released a Progress Report detailing the full impact of the fires and works so far around recovery coordination, the establishment of the EGRC, and recovery efforts over the past nine months.

 

The report speaks to recovery progress over the five sub-plans set out in the recovery plan.

 

Read the East Gippsland Recovery Plan 2019-20, Progress Report and sub-plans.

Hear from Recovery Commitee Chair and Council CEO Anthony Basford.

 

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