Storm recovery continues

Trentham Fire Brigade received $17,000 for a new generator through the Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Program.

One year on from devastating storms that rocked the region, Trentham Fire Brigade has received a boost to support its response efforts.

The brigade received $17,000 for a new generator through the Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Program.

Macedon MP Mary-Anne Thomas visited the station to announce the funding last week.

“Recovering from a disaster is complex and takes time – we’re continuing to provide support to local families, businesses and communities who were affected by this unprecedented event,” she said.

“We can’t change what these communities have been through, but we are doing what we can make recovery that little bit easier and build back better and stronger.”

The Trentham station was used as a Local Command Facility for four days following the storm event, operating 24 hours a day to help coordinate local response efforts. The station was a central point for those assisting on the ground, including CFA, VICSES, Ambulance Victoria and Victoria Police.

The storm and flood had a significant impact across the region. In Hepburn Shire, more than 45 per cent of the shire experienced damage, with 10,000 trees down and 220 roads damaged. In Macedon Ranges, 345 properties reported asset damage.

The free cleanup of damaged and destroyed structures and debris on residential properties was jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments.

The $105 million project cleaned up more than 1000 residential properties statewide, including 133 in Hepburn Shire and 167 in Macedon Ranges Shire.

To manage the large volumes of fallen trees and debris, an innovative green waste facility was established in Romsey.

Since its opening, the facility has processed more than 13,000 tonnes of trees and storm debris which have now been returned to the community as timber, fence posts, sleepers, stakes, firewood, mulch and sawdust.

Ms Thomas said the government had invested $8.2 million to help affected councils coordinate and drive recovery locally, including to help process planning matters quickly.

The government will also invest a further $4.76 million to extend this funding to eight affected councils for another 12 months, including Macedon Ranges Shire and Hepburn Shire, ensuring they are resourced for the long-term recovery journey ahead.

The $13.8 million recovery support package announced following the disaster provided dedicated and ongoing recovery case support. It has since provided a gateway for 2200 Victorians seeking advice, accommodation, insurance, health, wellbeing and financial support.

The government has also streamlined planning requirements and the application process to help residents rebuild faster and will continue working with locals on the challenges people are facing – particularly where rebuilding in bushfire-prone areas when material and labour are in high demand.