When the Premier came to Flowerdale on 4th March the most important thing he said as far as the community was concerned was "this is a community government partnership". It was also at that time that Christine Nixon had visited the town in her new role as head of the Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority. On that day we handed over our plans for the temporary village.
The execution of the temporary village plan has been happening fast and the good news is that the government and VBRRA are delivering. The next eight flat pack semi permanent units are coming next week. Power will be on by next Friday and the design for a communal kitchen has been accepted and will get going soon. As I mentioned previously the road and lighting are in train.
It has been a smooth process and the speed with which things are moving gives us great confidence in the VBRRA. They have also helped us navigate other departments, for example they have been able to fast track our fundraising permit through Consumer Affairs.
While Flowerdale has been called the DIY town for our approach of getting on with things ourselves, the key thing we did was to get our plans in place and work with a wide range of people and organisations from the corporate, philanthropic and govermnent sectors.
It bodes well for the future as we start to think about the rebuilding phase. A key focus will need to be on sustaining Flowerdale's community spirit and ethos, while providing a sustainable future in terms of the environment, infrastructure and economy.
The Royal Commission was in town yesterday in a closed session. It is the start of what will be a long process to ensure that the events of Black Saturday are not seen again. If you couldn't get there and have ideas for prevention we have set up a website at firevoice.uservoice.com which is collecting ideas for presentation to the Royal Commission. You can add you ideas or simply vote or comment on the ideas that are there.
Although I wasn't in town on Black Saturday I have put in a number of ideas around communication. I know I was trying to get information on what was happening and there were major issues around the timeliness of information on 774, lack of detail coming out of the CFA and the DSE website wasn't working. I was trying to get updates on Flowerdale during the day but there was nothing coming through. We would really appreciate your input and ask that you spread the word.