With the establishment of the project groups discussed in the last Community Bulletin, the SACBRA committee members are working hard to address community recovery priorities
The memorial project group along with council are identifying appropriate locations for a permanent Black Saturday memorial. Some funding has been made available for the creation of memorials and commemorative events.
This funding will make a valuable contribution to the affected communities by providing an opportunity to remember the bush fire events, to recognise the scale, impact and diversity of loss; to honour the courage and the efforts of community members and emergency service workers who risked their lives to help others; and to commemorate the spirit of the community during recovery.
The social group are planning a winter event to be held prior to the end of September that will encourage all of the community to come to the affected area of St Andrews and celebrate the regeneration of our community.
A building survey has been uploaded the St Andrews Recovery blog. This survey will also be sent to all members of the association. The survey will identify the needs of those who suffered significant building damage in the fires. The purpose of the building project group is to ensure that building in the area affected by the Black Saturday fires is a stress free as possible and will be concentrating on providing:
· Advocacy to council
· Support with permits
· Creating a skills bank of local, ethical tradespeople and builders
· Creating a register of supportive suppliers and those willing to provide discounts
· Support understanding the BAL and how that affects building design
Local Road signs have been reinstated by council on Mullers Road, Olives Lane, Wild dog Creek Road and Ninks Road to ensure continued security and privacy. The police also ask all residents to be vigilant and report any suspect travellers.
The St Andrews CFA is preparing to run extensive fire awareness courses of 6 hours duration in September in readiness for the next fire season. These courses will be intensive and it is recommended that all residence attend. More information about dates and locations will be provided as it comes to hand.
A gardening project group has also been established with Carmen Jensen at the helm. Carmen will be working with local gardening groups and residents in an effort to re-establish many of the beautiful gardens that were destroyed in the fires.
With the association database now complete the committee will begin to communicate directly with members via email and a location will be created for display of all communications at the St Andrews General Store for those who do not have Internet access.
There has been some concern amongst residents who have noticed that sewage tanks have been capped. This activity is actually part of the Grocon clean up and as local contractors have been engaged to provide the service their identity has not been immediately apparent. This facility will enable plumbers to identify the location of the current septic system easily in the rebuilding process. This is definitely capping only (with plastic caps that can be readily removed when needing to re-access the septic tank).
The 14th and 15th of November are dates to be set aside for a Quilt and Craft show to held at Dell Clarke’s beautiful home in Mittons Bridge Road.
Dell has had fabulous response from far and wide by quilters keen to exhibit their art. There is still room for local quilters to become involved. This is a great opportunity for our community to showcase their skills and talent. Anyone who would like to exhibit or support the event in a volunteer capacity can contact Dell Clarke on 9710 1490.
Kirsten Jenkins from Council Kate Austin from DHS organised a tour of our local area for Lisa Neville, Minister for Mental Health and Community Services. Lisa Neville met with local St Andrews residents at the St Andrews Recovery Centre on Friday the 10th of July, where she listened and discussed the problems facing many of our community. Taking a tour of the devastation particularly in Olives Lane certainly allowed Lisa to understand the magnitude of the February fires and the affect it still has on those who lost property and loved ones and the enormous challenge they have in front of them to rebuild not only their properties but also their lives. Many of Lisa’s entourage which consisted of government representatives and senior public servants were obviously moved by the experience.
The SACBRA committee is still calling for volunteers to join us in rebuilding St Andrews. There are opportunities for people to become involved in groups that working on community priorities identified at meetings held in June.
Please let Toni-anne know of your areas of interest at Tonifirstname.lastname@example.org