Archive for Committee Updates

SACBRA Committee

The St Andrews Community Bushfire Recovery Association committee continue to meet on a fortnightly basis with project groups meeting more frequently.

The Events group are currently meeting twice a week in the General Store to bring to fruition a large community celebration planned for the 19th of September. Led by Amber Dixon, the group has attracted many local volunteers who have been involved in the planning of large community events in the past.

The celebration, "Burnt but Not Beaten! – St Andrews Reunites”, will provide an opportunity for a day of entertainment, workshops, wellness retreats, and great food and drink, while the evening will highlight local talent with music, comedy and drama. Refreshments will be available throughout the evening. This day of celebration and demonstration of resilience will be free to all association members. (Another great reason to join!)

The Memorial group continue to evaluate, along with council, appropriate sites for a memorial to the bush fire victims. This site needs to meet a range of criteria, including providing a place for quite reflection. Some sites have already been considered and one in particular has been rejected as a site that meets the criteria set by memorial group which is headed by Elizabeth Kooroonya Savage. The site at 87 Burn St, St Andrews (the site next to the bakery and across the road from the market) is no longer under consideration as a potential location for a memorial. Other, more suitable sites are still being evaluated.

Continuing to gain momentum is the Building group. Combined representation from both St Andrews and Strathewen gives this group the capacity for greater impact on the rebuilding of both towns. A series of workshops are planned to be run in quick succession over the coming weeks. Topics will include Panning requirements, Power Options, Health Considerations, Owner Builder Requirements and Obligations and Material Choices. These workshops will draw from the experience of local experts and invite others to contribute to the knowledge pool.

The first workshop will be held at the St Andrews Community Hall on the 29th of July. Starting at 7:30 with supper provided, the workshop will highlight the implications of BAL ratings on properties where rebuilding is planned. In addition questions will be answered by a range of experts including builders, engineers, land surveyors and building designers. Make sure that you are there if you are considering rebuilding.

The Gardening group is establishing networks with gardening groups outside the area to grow and care for plants to be transplanted into the burnt areas of St Andrews over time. Carmen Jansen is also talking to growers to establish a directory of growers and suppliers who are keen to support the recovery with discounts and specials on plants and gardening equipment.

The next SACBRA Committee meeting will be held on the 3rd of August. Volunteers are still needed to provide knowledge and assistance in this massive rebuilding effort. If you would like to contribute your skills or time please contact one of the committee members.

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St Andrews Community Bushfire Recovery Association (SACBRA) update

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 Toni-anne@readify.net

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