Council welcomes $10m in Fed Gov funding for disaster preparedness


Council has welcomed $10 million in funding from the Commonwealth Government to implement its Resilient Yarra Ranges project.

The project is aimed at helping the Yarra Ranges community to better understand and cope with hazardous weather events such as bushfires.

Mayor of Yarra Ranges, Cr Jim Child, said the funding will increase the disaster preparedness, risk management, recovery and overall future resilience for Yarra Ranges communities.

“We’re extremely thankful that the Federal Government has recognised the importance of this issue, particularly as we approach the one-year anniversary of the catastrophic storms that hit the Dandenong Ranges,” Cr Child said.

“Responding in an emergency is as much about preparation and planning as it is about the actual response and clean-up itself, so this funding will go a long way to help us plan and protect our communities for any future emergencies that may arise.

“I’d also like to thank our retiring Federal Member for Casey, Tony Smith MP, who has been a wonderful local representative for us.

“Tony has been a great advocate for our community for a long period of time and has helped us advocate for better funding and services in our municipality.

“This is a perfect example of the great working relationships we have with our counterparts across different levels of Government.”

Cr Child also acknowledged that Council and its community were still in need of further support to assist the recovery from the 2021 storm.

“We recognise we still have significant work to do in recovering from the devastating storms of last year and we are continuing to work hard in advocating for much needed assistance from government to support this recovery.”

The Resilient Yarra Ranges project is broken down into seven key areas:

Place based resilience planning – Will bring communities, local businesses, support organisations and agencies together from Monbulk, Healesville, Yarra Junction and their surrounds to benchmark and strengthen resilience.

Tree management and clean-up – Funding requested to complete clean-up in Council open spaces and bushlands from the 2021 storm, as well as delivering a proactive tree management program in high-risk areas.

Resilient energy precinct – A joint venture from Monash University and Council to assess the feasibility for a resilient microgrid across essential buildings in Monbulk.

Resilient buildings – Multiple Council community buildings that serve as emergency relief centres will be upgraded with a generator plug-in point and/or solar power capabilities.

Changing places facility – Provides suitable facilities for people who are unable to use standard accessible toilets at Kilsyth Sports Centre, which is also a designated emergency relief centre. This fills a need in the provision of emergency amenities for people who are unable to use standard accessible amenities.

Bushfire risk assessment – A bushfire risk assessment will be commissioned for the areas of the Dandenong Ranges impacted by the 2021 storm which will assist in the rebuilding process.

Emergency relief network – Will strengthen the role and involvement of the Yarra Ranges Emergency Relief Network to provide better coordinated support and material aid resources across Yarra Ranges.

The funding for the project is part of the Commonwealth Government’s $600 million Preparing Australian Communities Program, which is an investment over six years to build the nation’s resilience to natural disasters.

Council is looking forward to planning and delivering the above priorities which will support community preparedness for future weather events across Yarra Ranges.

/Public Release. View in full here.