Victorian Government denied abandoning people burned out in Kilmore-Mickleham bushfires

Victorian Government denied abandoning people burned out in Kilmore-Mickleham bushfires

07 May 2014

published by

THE Victorian Government has denied abandoning thousands of people affected by the Kilmore- Mickleham bush­fires earlier this year.

Macedon Ranges Shire Council has instead ­accused the Government of being “distracted” by the long-running coal fire at Morwell.

According to senior council staff, only the volunteer efforts of relief agencies such as Blaze­aid, likely to be building farm fences across the area for many more months, and Loddon Prison inmates used for similar tasks, has kept the rebuilding on track.

Local government officials said more livestock was killed and more fences destroyed than the 2009 Black Saturday fires, which also affected the ­region.

“In terms of damage, these are the worst fires we have ever had, but since Black Saturday a bad fire is rated by lives lost, or even homes burned,” an unnamed official said.

MRSC wants the Government to trigger new natural disaster funding relief, solve fence issues and initiate community rebuilding, including psychological recovery.

More than 22,800ha were burned after a branch fell on a power line and a fast-moving grass fire raged north from February 9.

Dozens of homes, hundreds of cattle and 14,685 sheep were lost and more than 2000km of fencing ­was destroyed in the fires

MRSC community safety manager Anne-Louise Lindner said after the initial fire response, “the focus and most of the State Government ­resources were redirected to the Hazelwood mine fire in Morwell”.

Ms Lindner said there had been “little political recognition of the significant ­impact of the fires”.

The Government’s emergency recovery resources “have declined significantly” since Black Saturday, she said.

She said recovery was progressing steadily but “a return to normality for the majority of affected residents” would take up to 12 months or even longer.

A spokeswoman said the Government had worked hard to deliver appropriate relief and recovery to support fire-affected individuals, families, households and their communities.

This has included the prompt payment of emerg­ency financial assistance.

“The Government is ­exploring a range of options to provide continued support for all fire affected areas,” the spokeswoman said.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
WP-Backgrounds Lite by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann 1010 Wien