With the major works of the residential clean-up of the Wooroloo fire zone now complete, and effective support programs and frameworks well established, Dr Edwards’ term as State Recovery Controller will conclude today.
Dr Edwards was appointed on February 5 2021 following the scale of the destruction of the Wooroloo bushfire, which caused extensive damage within the City of Swan and Shire of Mundaring.
The complex demolition and waste removal stage of the Wooroloo Bushfire Coordinated Residential Clean-up Program, coordinated by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, was completed during Dr Edwards’ term. This has paved the way for theat rebuild to begin.
During his time as State Recovery Controller, Dr Edwards was responsible for establishing the State Recovery Coordination Group Partnership Forum, which brought key non-government stakeholders and community members into the recovery efforts.
Dr Edwards was also instrumental in the early development of a Bushfire Prone Landscaping and Environmental Planning Forum held in July. This community forum brought together a range of subject matter experts to help community members better understand topics such as bushfire property standards and fire ecology.
The State Recovery Controller’s duties will conclude on October 15, 2021 and the Department of Fire and Emergency Services State Recovery Coordinator Graham Swift will manage the ongoing State-led recovery effort and provide continued support to the Shire of Mundaring and City of Swan.
The Clean-up Program and Environmental Planning Forum were jointly funded through the Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements and form part of a broader $18.1 million community recovery package.
As stated by Emergency Services Minister Reece Whitby:
“I thank Dr Edwards for taking on this challenging role for the past eight months and I am sure the community appreciates all that he has done to lead the recovery efforts.
“His efforts have played a vital role in the Wooroloo bushfire recovery – Dr Edwards brought together not only the relevant State agencies but also stakeholders outside of government and local community members – ensuring all participants were engaged and involved in the process.
“He has been a strong advocate for ensuring the community is kept well informed and that the mental health and social needs of residents are supported. He has also been a keen supporter of the management of animal welfare in emergencies.”