Archive for Rehabilitation
The pictures below show you how our world is coming back. The little ones on the couch were visiting for the day from another shelter – how delightful it was to have those little heads bobbing about again. The wombat and the echidna paid us a visit from the valley and have made their homes nearby so we feed them nightly now. The Nillumbik Council has approved the rebuilding of our Wildlife Shelter and we are delighted. The new enclosures will work better for us and the entire layout will be a huge improvement on what we had before. We are starting to get together pouches, bottles an the equipment we require for the care of the bubs.
We were given a lot of pouches, bottles, etc., just after the fires, but as we had no place to store them, we had to pass all the equipment on to the shelters that were not burnt. So if anyone has any spare pouches we would be delighted to receive some.
It has been 153 days since our world changed and some neighbours have started to return to the properties. They have set up tents and caravans and the rumble of generators can be heard once more. Some neighbours just visit their land for a day or two and return to the city where they live temporarily. The ‘For Sale’ signs are popping up left and right. Our shed is snug and warm and we enjoy every day here.
Alan was asked the other day how we were coping with the cold weather and he replied that all weather was beautiful when you were alive to experience it. Yep, I think we’re going to be fine. We now look forward to designing and building the sheds and enclosures for the new kids – a little way down the track, we know, but sooooo looking forward to having some bubs again. The house plans are coming along and we are sure we’ll enjoy that process too. The house site is ready and the big water tanks should go in shortly. People continue to be unbelievably generous and supportive and we thank everybody once again from the bottom of our hearts.
Love Alan & Stella Wildhaven.
Road reserve rehabilitation
Council’s Environmental Works team are undertaking work to rehabilitate and protect public road reserves across bushfire affected areas of the Shire. This activity will assist in the recovery of ecosystem function and reduce the risks of erosion, landslides and flash flooding.
Initially this work will focus on the clean-up of excessive fallen timber from road reserves, whilst balancing the environmental requirements for habitat and erosion control.
The guidelines for this work are based on scientific research and current best management practices. However, work in each area will vary according to faunal significance, vegetation type and significance, slope and erosion potential, severity of burn and the likelihood of natural regeneration.
A straw bale check dam
In the coming weeks, several demonstration sites will be prepared in order to demonstrate and monitor the effectiveness of these treatments. The location of sites will be publicised once they have been established. Findings will then be used to guide further works across all bushfire affected areas.
Several severely eroded sites in Ninks Road have already been treated in order to demonstrate best management practices and to monitor their effectiveness. High priority erosion and drainage problem areas requiring such specialised treatment will be identified and treated appropriately throughout the coming months.
The medium to long term objectives of this work will focus on monitoring the effectiveness of treatments, weed infestations and ecosystem recovery. A weed control program will be implemented in spring.
To maximise the effectiveness of erosion control treatments on road reserves, complementary works on adjoining properties would be beneficial. Council can assist with identifying the need for such works on your property through the development and implementation of a Property Recovery Plan (see Land Management Assistance article below).
For further information please contact Brad Tadday, Environmental Works Officer, on 9433 3713.
Land management assistance for bushfire affected properties
Council’s Environmental Planning Unit can provide advice on land management issues including: vegetation, pasture management, erosion control and weed control. Council has developed a Property Recovery Plan template and is able to support landowners with developing plans for their properties. For more information, please contact Donna Stoddart, Environmental Planning Coordinator, on 9433 3216.
When you start thinking about rebuilding…
Nillumbik Shire Council is offering a free sustainable design assessment on the design of your property. Council’s Sustainability Officers conduct assessments using the Sustainable Tools for Environmental Performance Strategy (STEPS) tool.
A STEPS assessment provides an analysis of the environmental sustainability of the property design and looks at material selection, appliances, and water and energy use. A guide on how your property compares to environmental standards is also provided through the STEPS assessment.
Council will provide a summary report on your design in terms of environmental sustainability and offer design considerations. The assessment and report will be completed in the line with relevant Building Commissions Guidelines and Australian Standards for Bushfire Prone Areas. This is a unique opportunity to have your property design assessed for environmental sustainability while ensuring the appropriate building materials are selected.
For more information, please contact Council’s Sustainability Officers on 9433 3214.