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Supporting Wye River Eight Months On

09 September 2016

The Andrews Labor Government continues to support the Wye River and Separation Creek communities – eight months after the devastating Christmas Day bushfire that destroyed 116 properties and damaged many others.

Minister for Water Lisa Neville today announced $3 million for make safe works to help stabilise fire-affected terrain and improve storm water management. The funding will help to reduce the risk to lives, property and the environment caused by land instability.

The Labor Government has called on the Commonwealth Government to match this funding.

The Government is working closely with Colac Otway Shire and the Wye River and Separation Creek communities, which has led to a number of key milestones being reached, including:

  • the completion of the clean-up of properties by Grocon
  • the first planning permit issued and the start of the building works on a residential property
  • more than 60 community events, meetings and workshops
  • a ‘One Stop Shop’ for rebuilding advice
  • settlement-wide geotechnical assessments
  • construction of retaining walls in terrain at risk of landslip
  • power and telecommunications restoration

To make sure new homes are more resilient in the event of future fires, a refined Bushfire Attack Level assessment is being implemented. It will ensure greater flexibility for the siting of homes and construction outside flame zone areas for about 75 properties.

Bushfire Attack Levels are critical to ensure that buildings are designed relative to likely radiant heat and fire exposure.

The Government has appointed experts to develop voluntary guidelines to support the rebuilding process and ensure residents’ properties are as resilient as possible.

Almost $250,000 in personal hardship payments have been provided, as well as counselling, support services and free health checks.

A $1.4 million package was given to the Great Ocean Road Economic and Community Recovery Fund to assist businesses and communities along the Great Ocean Road – which includes support for the Wye River CFA and Surf Life Saving Club.

Quote attributable to Minister for Water Lisa Neville

“The Christmas Day fires devastated both the Wye River and Separation Creek communities. I’m pleased to see such critical progress eight months on to support resettlement – but we need the Commonwealth to act now.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Planning Richard Wynne

“This is a long and challenging journey for these townships, and I commend the local residents for their resilience during these tough times.”

Quotes attributable to Colac Otway Shire Mayor Cr Frank Buchanan

"Colac Otway Shire and the WyeSep communities are very grateful to the State for their ongoing support."

"It has helped us build a stronger and more resilient community – and the additional infrastructure will greatly reduce the inherent landslip risks in the area for years to come."

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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