Councils pool resources to help out

Two members of staff from the Central Goldfields Shire Council will provide assistance to the East Gippsland Shire Council in the wake of the recent Victorian bushfires.

Central Goldfields Manager of Statutory Services, James Maw, who was involved with the recovery efforts after Black Saturday as well as the 2011 floods in the Loddon and Buloke Shires, spent a week in East Gippsland in January.

James assisted East Gippsland Shire Council conduct assessments of bushfire affected properties in townships around Bairnsdale.

This included assessment of property damage, public health risks, management of referrals to other agencies for individual property owners and psychological first aid.

James has also been involved in training personnel from other councils who are also offering assistance.

Central Goldfields Emergency Management Coordinator, Belinda McKnight, deployed in early February, will be involved in secondary impact assessment coordination.

Belinda will play a key role in training personnel in using Crisisworks – an online system used to manage emergencies, risk and recovery.

Central Goldfields Shire Council, Chief Administrator, Noel Harvey, said it was a great example of how councils across Victoria are supporting their counterparts as they begin a long and exhaustive recovery process.

“We are pleased to be able to offer assistance to the East Gippsland Shire Council and with James’ extensive experience in bushfire recovery and Belinda’s experience in emergency management coordination we have no doubt their expertise and knowledge will be of great value to the East Gippsland Shire during this challenging period.”