Thursday, February 12, 2009

A cry for help from the forgotten people of Flowerdale

On Saturday the town of Flowerdale was devastated by the Black Saturday bushfire. While the official death toll is four the locals know that will rise dramatically. A group of 30 people that survived the flames have stayed in the town to protect the few houses and buildings that are left. If they leave they won't be let back into the area.

The final straw for my sister in law came at 6.00am today (12/02/09) when those left fought to save one of the remaining houses that caught on fire overnight. They fought with no water, no fire trucks and no support from the Army that was in the area. They lost the fight.

After that my sister in law drove out of the town with pages of handwritten notes from the forgotten victims and begged me to do what I could to get their story heard and get help now.

She got back into town by driving straight through two police road blocks after she had delivered the messages below.

Please read the comments. Each of the first nine comments below comes from these notes. I dont know what to do but if you read this and can do something to get their story out maybe the authorities will do something to help these brave but desolate souls. Journo's ring the Flowerdale Pub on 03 57801230 and get the story yourselves

Pete Williams 03 92087629 or


  1. We all pitch in and help wherever needed. It is disgusting that our community is being torn apart by red tape after such a disaster! We are not like other affected areas, we were truly forgotten. We don't have a supermarket, a bakery, a butcher or any clothing stores. We don't have a relief centre supplying us with breakfast, made lunches or cooked dinners. Yes we have got food being sent for which we all thank God. The same Flowerdillians who stayed to protect what we have (a piece of God's own country!) have been on the go practically around the clock - cooking, dishes, cleaning, protecting what we could of what's left of our community.

  2. "Let us back on our hill where we all want to stay". We are told if we leave we can come back! If only this was true. We can get out but we are refused entry back in. It's outrageous what we flowerdillians are being forced to endure. Give us back our community, we've already been put through so much. There are some who may never return and our hearts, understanding, love and good wishes and blessings go with them. Any person that has ever resided in Flowerdale takes a piece with them whether conscious of it or not, there is a piece of us in your hearts forever and always

  3. Our volunteers trying to cart water for fires are being refused entry back to Flowerdale where they are truly needed!

  4. No medication still and the army has left, there are no torches to see in the dark. We went to get generators but the authorities will not let us back in with them. There are houses still left without power or water. New pillows and doonas arrived today but where are the tents and beds for those that lost all. We need new underwear and oh God we would kill for new thick socks,

  5. Please don't think we are full of complaints - are we less important than all the rest? Please help our community, we need it and fast! Or don't stop us and let us get past. We require access via the most direct route to get what we need. It's easy to say "just tell us what's required and it will get past". We Flowerdillians wish this were the case. Please help us or give us a God dam break!

  6. I have a dream, I'm a survivor of the Victorian Bushfires in Flowerdale. What I would do with all the money being raised:

    Pay out mortgages for every house burnt to the ground/destroyed/now uninhabitable

    Instantly set up emergency accommodation within the affected areas for families to return to School or oval

    Affected families that want to remain within their communities have that option available (remember we have just lost everything that was our home)

  7. I never again want to see an affected area where the people who lost everything are putting out their own fires, cooking, cleaning, feeding people who had survived and stayed in the affected areas with no help.

    Are we no longer a community - many hands make light work. Where is all the modern technology? No tents for survivors who will not leave the hill. No toilets or showers. How about solar lights, for God only knows how long it will be before we get real power. Do generators and fuel not exist elsewhere?

  8. I've lost it all but this is my home, please, please accommodate us here. Every family here has nothing. Relatives, friends and strangers open their hearts but we are receiving nothing. Don't try and rort the communities that have survived this disaster. This is my dream of what I might do, now I wonder what will the government do.

  9. What would your wish be if you controlled the funds and the requirement was the money went to the rural communities affected by the worst ever Victorian Bushfires. Ash Wednesday was horrific, this is like total disaster. Imagine East Timor after attack, the disaster here is worse than that. Don't treat us like fools or plain idiots.

  10. Just read this if it's of any comfort...,25197,25033006-5018722,00.html

  11. Pete--
    I'm sorry for my ignorance, I don't completely understand. There are still fire threats in Flowerdale? There are no firefighters, or Red Cross assistance or anything? Is that what you're saying? Why haven't help gone there? Do they ~know~ about Flowerdale? or are they saying it's too dangerous still, is that their reason? So you still need firefighters, and water, and tents?


  12. Hi Debbie

    Yes spot fires still flare up, firestorm has gone but wind can easily reignite embers.

    There are no firefighters or appliances in Flowerdale just the community who have stayed to save what is left (school, fire station, pub,a few houses)

    Authorities know about Flowerdale but consider it dangerous. The residents who survived the firestorm have a very different view of danger. They wont leave they just want to be given access to what they need to stay and protect the remnants of Flowerdale. For example, water, tents, torches, petrol, generators.

    They are happy to run the fight themselves but if they leave town to get what they need to keep going then they wont be let back in. Basically they are saying get out of the way so we dont have to fight this with both hands tied behind our backs.

  13. Peter, I completely understand the isolation and frustration you are experiencing. The beurocrazy drives you crazy. In the spirit of the Anzacs, you brave Aussie battlers are making us proud. Glad to hear about the pub, school, shop, hall and rec reserve, glad the kinder is up and running. We really appreciate this site. It is hard for us to be away. Our thoughts and prayers are with all the homeless and those who lost their lives. We have a house available now in Riverside apparently electricity is on!? 2 tanks uncontaminated water, 3/4 bedrooms. Keys are with Ray White Whittlesea. I have told DHS, redcross nothing has happened. pass the word and get back to me. carina, 72 kids and the green valiant.


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