Bushfire recovery authority closes its doors

Bushfire recovery authority closes its doors

30 June 2011

published by www.abc.net.au  

Australia –Victoria’s Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority (VBRRA) has been wound up nearly two-and-a-half years after the Black Saturday disaster.

The authority was set up after the state’s 2009 Black Saturday bushfires, which killed 173 people.

From today, the authority’s responsibilities will be divided up between more than half a dozen government agencies.

In Marysville, the authority has been given a mixed report card.

Some are pleased with the authority’s work, while others hope the Government does a better job next time.

The reconstruction and recovery authority has been a key part Christine Adams’ life for the past several years.

“They were there all the time. They became another arm to who we were,” he said.

“It is a little bit scary to think they won’t be around. I still see them as a good arm to government and council.”

But others who lost businesses and homes in the town do not feel that the help they have received has been up to scratch.

Since the fire, Nat Morandi has been operating his ski hire shop out of a portable building.

He is desperate to rebuild, but says changes to planning regulations and little help from the authorities has held him back.

“Between State Government and the local government, they should be there to support and start getting on and over these things,” he said.

“Instead, they are putting more hurdles in and that is when you get frustrated.”

The rebuilding of Marysville has come a long way, but there is still a lot more to do.

Just over half of the businesses that were destroyed have been re-established.

Less than one eighth of the 400 houses lost have been rebuilt to a livable standard.

Deputy Premier Peter Ryan is promising to examine at a report outlining areas where the Government can do things better.

“We will go through the recommendations in the course of the report but for the very main part, as a general principle, the recommendations will be adopted,” he said.

Marysville locals hope their experiences can, at the very least, lessen the pain of communities struck by disaster in the future.

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