East Gippsland Shire Council has released its third progress report on the region’s recovery from the 2019-20 bushfires.
The report was produced by Council with support from our partners including Emergency Recovery Victoria (ERV), Department of Environment Land Water and Planning, and Parks Victoria.
The report provides an overview of the recovery efforts since the second Progress report released in May 2021.
Mayor Cr Mark Reeves said the report also provides updates from East Gippsland’s 10 Community Recovery Committees as they share their achievements, plans and priorities for the future.
“The work of these volunteers and all they have achieved through their significant leadership should not be underestimated, and it certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed,” Cr Reeves said.
“On behalf of Council, and your communities, thank-you for your passion and commitment.”
Following the fires, five recovery pillars were identified: Culture and Healing, Natural Environment, Economic, Social Recovery, and Built Environment.
Cr Reeves said substantial headway has been made under each pillar although there is also significant work still to be done, in supporting people to rebuild homes, communities to deliver recovery projects and supporting the wellbeing of individuals.
“Our community and recovery agencies have achieved some important milestones in the last 18 months.
"It is worth acknowledging the work to get our fire-affected region to this stage of our recovery,” Cr Reeves said.
“Much of the damaged or destroyed infrastructure is now back in place, roadsides have been treated for emerging weeds to encourage recovery of native vegetation, investment across East Gippsland has continued and local spend and visitation rates trending-up.
“Success from many across East Gippsland in securing funding has resulted in significant investment for the region, and there is a lot of work now with communities to implement recovery and resilience projects.
The Third Progress Report acknowledges recovery is ongoing and significant support is still required.
“Priority areas for continued support and funding have been identified. This was done through a social recovery needs assessment we undertook in partnership with ERV, health service providers and community.
“Communities’ awareness and desire to build resilience and increased preparedness into future planning has been a common priority.
"This has resulted in some great work in community emergency planning, upgrades to facilities, enhancing emergency telecommunications, static water tanks and more. Detailed information is captured within the report.
“While recovery for East Gippsland will take time, Council will continue to support communities through their recovery journeys,” Cr Reeves said.