PREPARED: The first Bushfire Management Community Workshop in Dingo.
PREPARED: The first Bushfire Management Community Workshop in Dingo.

First of three workshops held for bushfire management

STARTING conversations brings back common sense to community planning and co-operation when it comes to bushfire management. This was the key message of the first Bushfire Management Community Workshop held in Dingo last Wednesday.

Central Highlands Regional Council hosted the workshop after receiving funding under the joint Commonwealth and State Disaster Recovery Arrangements.

Council’s Co-ordinator of Disaster Management and Community Resilience, Glenn Bell said it was all about starting conversations between stakeholders to improve bushfire preparedness with positive outcomes for all involved.

‘From a local government disaster management perspective, our number one priority is community safety – people need to know who to contact in an emergency and have the relationship to make that call,’ Mr Bell said.

‘Today has shown that everyone has concerns, everyone has responsibilities and there are things that are working and things that are not working.

‘This particular group will meet again early next year to plan for the 2020 fire season, and that’s what is preferable for groups across the region.”

Landholders said the workshop was a forum to voice concerns, ask questions and understand the frameworks. Jane Saunders from Charlevue said it was important for landholders to take the time out of their busy schedule and plan ahead to prevent disasters before they happened. The day included presentations from various government agencies and not-for profits that provided clarity around vegetation management laws, communication practices with rural fire brigades, applying for permits and working with national park rangers, followed by an afternoon of discussion.

Council will host two further workshops under the funding with the next one taking place in Rolleston on November 2 and one in Bluff with details to be confirmed.

Council is upgrading its Emergency Management Dashboard to include a new section called ‘Rural Community Connect’. People will be able to access factsheets and information related to the Bushfire Management Community Workshops there. The site is expected to be live by October 11 and can be accessed through council’s website or directly at