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Storm and Flood Recovery News

Dear resident, 
 
It’s been over one year since the devastating storms that rocked the region, but a number of storm recovery programs are now progressing.  

In good news for avid swimmers, building contractors at the Monbulk Aquatic Centre have notified Council that the Centre is anticipated to be fully open for swimmers to return in Spring 2022.

 In a bid to remove even more storm debris, Council is running a second, targeted, Special Storm Event Tree Branch Collection for residents in certain suburbs who were severely impacted by the June 2021 storm.
While we know that this only helps some residents with small storm debris there’s also good news for people wanting to remove larger storm debris.

Council has welcomed a State Government's funding grant of $650,000 which will assist not-for-profit organisations  Treasuring our Trees and Habitat for Humanity.  This project will enable further private property clean-up work to occur and for salvaged timber to be used for community projects.  This project will also enable some larger debris to be removed that  residents are unable to remove.

The first rounds of grants to help communities bounce back from the pandemic and the June 2021 storm event are beginning to open up, with all four Community Recovery Committees now, or shortly, inviting applications for projects that will support community recovery.  

Round one of a grants program to help communities bounce back from the pandemic and the June 2021 storm event are beginning to open up, with all four Community Recovery groups accepting applications for projects that contribute to people’s wellbeing and strengthen community connections.

Of course, you may have seen on the news recently that a family, whose home was lost in the storm, are having challenges with their planning application to rebuild due to their property being at moderate risk of landslip. 
We understand and feel deeply for these residents, which is why in this edition you'll also find a wealth of information around the Erosion Management Overlay, what it is, why we've been talking about it and where does it come from. 

Residents who have experienced trauma, damage or loss as a result of the June storm are also able to discuss their circumstances with the Victorian Storm Recovery Support Program that is coordinated by Windermere by contacting 0408 521 320.

Residents can also contact Council’s Community Recovery Team on 0477 056 265 for advice or connection to a range of support services.

Council welcomes private property clean-up funding 

Yarra Ranges Council has welcomed the State Government's announcement of up to $650,000 in grant funding to support local communities affected by the June 2021 Storm.

As part of a regional partnership, $650,000 will be shared by Yarra Ranges Council and Cardinia Shire Council, to support volunteer clean-up groups, Habitat for Humanity Victoria and Treasuring Our Trees.

The funding will allow Cardinia Shire Council and Yarra Ranges Council to work with Habitat For Humanity and Treasuring our Trees and connect residents who require storm debris removal work with the volunteer groups.

The grants will also support equipment purchases and critical training opportunities.

If you still need assistance with property clean up support contact Sue Jack, Recovery Centre and Outreach coordinator on 0477 056 265. 

If you know someone who’d like to volunteer
There is still a great need for assistance in the community. If you or someone you know would like to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity please contact the Volunteer Supervisor Felicity Smith at fsmith@habitat.org.au or visit the Habitat for Humanity website to register interest. There are multiple roles available and volunteering is flexible. 

Read the full story here

Monbulk Aquatic Centre Spring reopening

Following the June 2021 storm, the building contractors at the Monbulk Aquatic Centre have advised Yarra Ranges Council that the Centre is anticipated to be fully open in Spring 2022.   

Yarra Ranges Council Mayor Jim Child said that like many storm-affected residents, Council has experienced a number of delays.
 
“We understand the frustration felt by the community at the delays in reopening the Monbulk pool and we’re grateful for the continued patience of our residents,” Cr Child said.  
 
“Council is not exempt from the delays in construction being felt across our region and Australia, and like many of our storm-affected community we have experienced many of the same issues.”
 
“Over the past year, Council has ensured that the Health Club and some group fitness classes continue  operating at the Centre and the good news is that if repair works remain on schedule, we will be able welcome people back to the pool in Spring, which is something that not only the community wants but also all the pool staff too.”
Find out when the Aquatic Centre is likely to open

Special Storm Branch Collection 

Yarra Ranges Council is providing a second Special Storm Event Tree Branch Collection for residents in the Dandenong Ranges to further assist with clean up following the severe storm in June 2021.

This collection will enable residents to remove bulky tree branches from their property that are up to 250mm by 3m in length – think of the width of a football, and no longer than what could fit in a standard trailer.

Residents requiring a collection will need to register for the collection before registrations close  on15 August 2022. Branch material will only be collected from the kerbside of properties that have registered for a collection.

Due to funding constraints, the second round of the Special Storm Event Tree Branch Collection is only available to residents living in suburbs that were severely impacted by the June 2021 storm. These suburbs include: Selby, Kallista, Tremont, Ferny Creek, Sassafras, Olinda, Monbulk, Silvan, Kalorama, Mount Dandenong, Wandin and Mount Evelyn.

If you have any questions, or have trouble registering, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 1300 368 333 or 9294 6905. Alternatively, you can email us at mail@yarraranges.vic.gov.au

Register for the Special Storm Branch Collection

Erosion Management Overlay: What is it and why are we hearing about it?

Since the June 2021 storm, Council has been working with and supporting impacted residents whose houses were destroyed following the storm.

You may have seen on the news recently that a family, whose home was lost in the storm, are having challenges with their planning application to rebuild due to their property being at moderate risk of landslip.

Because the family's property is covered by an Erosion Management Overlay, a geotechnical assessment must be undertaken to identify the risk of a potential landslip.

Council has to assess planning applications against the Victorian Planning Provisions and can only approve properties that are identified as having a ‘low’ or ‘very low’ risk.

The result of the recent assessment identifies the property as having a ‘moderate risk’ which means it does not comply with the planning scheme.

Council understands and feels deeply for these residents and has requested their consultant to explore if there are any ways to mitigate the landslip risk to a level where the residents can continue with their planning permit process.

If you or someone you know has been impacted by the 2021 storm and is in need of support, you can book in to see us Karwarra Community Hub. 

Our team can help provide information and connect you to relevant services to support your recovery.

Find out more about this complex planning matter

Erosion Management Overlay - FAQs and Information 

Recently, Council invited highly impacted residents who lost their homes during the June storm to attend a Reimagining Your Rebuild event

During these events residents were provided with specific information to assist with their rebuild.

In this video, Engineering Geologist, Darren Paul, discusses landslide and landslip management in the Yarra Ranges and considerations residents should have around rebuilding in areas prone to erosion

Helpful video on understanding the Erosion Management Overlay
General information about landslip and erosion in the Yarra Ranges
Frequently asked questions for Erosion Management Overlay

Community Recovery Committee grants 

Does your community group need funding support?

Community Led funding Recovery Grants unique to each region are now available for community groups and residents to apply.

Each Community Recovery Committee will open a round of grants aimed at helping their community recover from the COVID19 pandemic and June 2021 storm.


Grant opening dates: 

  • The Valley CRC Helping Communities Rebound grant is now open and applications can be made until 1 September. Apply for Valley CRC Grant
  • The Upper Yarra CRC Community Led Recovery Grant is now open and applications can be made until 22 August. Apply for Upper Yarra CRC Grant
  • The Urban CRC Community Led Recovery Grant round opens 25 July and applications can be made until 22 August. Community Information session on Tuesday 26 July at 7pm via Zoom
  •  The Hills CRC opens 1 August and applications can be made until 29 August. Community Information session on Thursday 28 July at 6pm via Zoom
These funding grants will support ready-to-go projects that meet an urgent need in the community and which support recovery from the effects of the COVID Pandemic or the June 9 storms of 2021 and priority will be given to projects which support social connection and collective wellbeing.
Find out more and apply for the Valley Grant
Find out more about the Hills CRC
Find out more and apply for the Urban Grant
Find out more and apply for the Upper Yarra Grant

Strengthening Relationships 

The past two years has held an incredible amount of challenges for couples.
 
Concerns about health, income, and other stressors brought on by the pandemic and 2021 June storm have impacted the ways we connect, relate and overcome challenges together.
 
That’s why we’re working with Relationships Australia to deliver a free online program of 4 Wednesday evening sessions in August and September looking at topics including communication and collaborative decision making.
 
Sessions can be booked individually

Book into a Strengthening Relationship session

Energy and Water kits available 

Storm affected community members will soon be able to test their homes for water leaks and high-energy use, following the success of Energy and Water Saver Kits at local libraries.

In January 2022, Yarra Ranges, Knox and Maroondah Councils made three kits available to community through Eastern Regional Libraries, where community members can test their homes for flaws and leaks. 

Now, due to the popularity of the kits, there are an additional two kits which will soon become available for anyone impacted by the June 2021 storm. 

Keep updated on when these kits become available by following the Recovery website at: https://www.yarraranges.vic.gov.au/recovery/Home

Understanding Overlay's, Council planning schemes, drainage and more

Whether you're planning a rebuild, repairing part of your house or just wanting to remove some trees, how straightforward (or complicated) this process is will depend on where your property is located, the features of the land and surrounding areas, and the type of dwelling you wish to build.

Familiarising yourself with the planning application process, what overlays are in the Yarra Ranges and what impact they can have are important to know should you ever have to rebuild or repair your home. 

To equip you with the tools and that knowledge Council is organising an event for next month aimed at demystifying the building repair process, exploring what is possible, and sharing the support and services Council have ready to help you along the way.

This event is expected to take place in September or October, so be sure to check the  monthly recovery newsletter and website to keep informed: www.yarraranges.vic.gov.au/recovery/Home

We're also interested in hearing what subjects you want to hear about so if there's a topic you think should be covered let us know by emailing us at: planning@yarraranges.vic.gov.au

 Third Pandemic and Storm Survey results

We all learned a lot over the last two years. Some of this includes things we’d like to fix, or like to see more work on.

Since the pandemic began, we’ve run regular surveys to see how the community is grappling with the pandemic and the June 2021 storm.

 The results of Council’s third survey have been released with results showing improvements in the pandemic and storm response while insurance premiums remain the top concern. 

Despite a second year of operation amidst the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, the results revealed positive community outcomes across a range of priority areas including improvements in returning to daily activities and social connection.
Read all the results here

Therapeutic Youth art program

Join art therapists, Anita and Shelly, to explore themes of resilience, connectedness and growth through art making. No artistic skills needed! 

This program is available for Yarra Ranges young people who were impacted by the June 2021 storm and want to explore their experience through art making with other young people.

This 3 session program provides an opportunity to connect with others, and explore how we can grow from challenging times in our lives. We will have the chance to use a variety of materials and mediums to explore our unique stories.  

The sessions will be coordinated by Yarra Ranges Council Community Recovery team and facilitated by art therapists with support from Lilydale Youth Hub.

WHERE: Olinda Community House, 79 -81 Olinda-Monbulk Rd, Olinda.
WHEN: Three sessions will run from 4:30pm to 6:00pm on 16, 23 and 30 August. 
For more information and to book

Healing in Our Gardens 

We are really pleased to announce that our Healing in our Gardens launch event for our storm impacted community will be held on Saturday 3rd September at Mist@Olinda in the beautiful Botanical Gardens at Olinda.  At this event you will be able to meet some of the wonderful community groups, nurseries, organisations and people helping us to bring Healing in our Gardens to you, and learn more about or register for the upcoming free events, activities and resources available, to help you and our other storm impacted residents, restore, reconnect with or rebuild your private gardens damaged or destroyed in the June 2021 storm or from subsequent clean-up works.
Our Healing in our Gardens project will have three main focuses.

  • My Garden Sanctuary - where residents can come together and learn more about how to restore, reimagine and rebuild their own gardens
  • Lending a Hand - where residents can connect with and support each other and their communities, by sharing their gardening knowledge, experience, or physical skills.
  • Beyond my Fence - where residents can come together, learn more and be involved in supporting and caring for their local environment, biodiversity, sustainability, and place.

We’ll be sharing more details about our September 3rd Healing in our Gardens Launch event with you and community groups in the coming weeks, via flyers, emails and across our Recovery Website and social media platforms. 
We know many still have a long recovery journey ahead, but do hope that Healing in our Gardens provides a positive, meaningful and practical step forward that helps you and our other storm impacted residents to continue your healing journey in and through your garden, home and the beautiful environment which we live within.

If you would like to register your interest to attend our Launch Event on 3rd September, or receive more information about Healing in our Gardens, please contact Deb Sargentson – Community Recovery at D.Sargentson@yarraranges.vic.gov.au 

Support is here for you 

The State Government funded Victorian Storm Recovery Support Program will continue to be available to residents during 2022, which will enable Windermere and Anglicare and to continue with their important support services for a few more months.
 
Residents who have experienced trauma, damage or loss as a result of the June storm are able to discuss their circumstances with Windermere on 0408 521 320.
 
There is also a wealth of information on Council's Recovery website at www.yarraranges.vic.gov.au/recovery/home 

Get Bushfire resilient 

The cold, wet weather at the moment might not have you thinking about fires – but bushfire season will come around before we know it, and Bushfire Resilience Inc. is holding a free webinar series focusing on bushfire preparedness.

Hosted by not-for-profit Bushfire Resilience Inc (BRI), five webinars will be held from July through to September, providing thought-provoking, relevant, and practical information for families in rural areas and on the urban fringe.

Viewers can ask questions before or during the webinar, with a panel of experts prepared for each webinar to discuss the issues, strategies, and actions to get bushfire resilient.

Topics and dates below: 

  • Horses and bushfire – 20 July
  • Your vegetation - 10 August
  • Your last resort options – 24 August
  • Why get kids involved in the family bushfire plan – 7 September
  • Understand your bushfire risk – 21 September

For more information and to register, click here.

For more information and to book

Helpful contact information

Yarra Ranges Council - Community Recovery Team

Appointments are now available through the Yarra Ranges Council Recovery Hub at Karwarra Gardens.

 The Community Recovery hub is located at Karwarra Garden, Kalorama and Councill staff are available to provide information and support for the community in the following areas:

  • Mental health and wellbeing support
  • Insurance support
  • Business support
  • Clean up advice and support

Please call Sue Jack, Recovery Centre And Outreach Coordinator on 0477 056 265 or 1300 368 333 to arrange appointments or to ask any questions you may have. For more information please contact communityrecovery@yarraranges.vic.gov.au or 1300 368 333.

This essential service is available to all members of the community.

 

EACH Financial Counselling Service
Financial counselling is a free and confidential service available for anyone affected by an emergency.
9871 1817
fcintake@each.com.au
Eastern Community Legal Centre (ECLC)
People living in the Yarra Ranges can seek free legal advice from ECLC.

1300 325 200
eclc@eclc.org.au
https://eclc.org.au/
 
Material Aid
If you are experiencing hardship, information on where to access material aid and other services can be found on Council's website.
 
Insurance
The Insurance Council of Australia is the general insurance industry body. Following disasters, we work closely with the community, government and insurers to help residents recover.

Please contact your insurer with any claims questions you may have. For general information, you can contact the Insurance Council of Australia on:

1300 728 228. 

 
National Debt Helpline
The National Debt Helpline is a telephone financial counselling service open from 9.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.

The financial counsellors at the National Debt Helpline can put you in contact with your local face-to-face financial counselling service.

1800 007 007
www.ndh.org.au

Renters Assistance
Tenant advice line 9416 2577
Monday to Friday 10.00 am – 2.00 pm
tenantsvic.org.au
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