Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Long Wunghnu fire recovery expected

Hundreds of people have registered for help in a fire recovery effort that could take up to six months.

RIAHN SMITH February 21, 2014 4:23am

Long road ahead: This month's Wunghnu Complex fire burned through about 10000ha and recovery is expected to take up to six months.

Moira Shire municipal recovery manager David Booth said about 250 people had requested help to clean up after the Wunghnu Complex fire burned through about 10000ha last week.

Mr Booth, who co-ordinated the response to the 2012 floods in the area, said he expected the recovery to take up to six months.

‘‘The recovery is going really well (and) we’ve got a good indication of what properties need assistance,’’ Mr Booth said.

‘‘Those needs have ranged anywhere between emergency assistance in the first few days following the fires to — more commonly — fencing, fodder and drinking water provisions.

‘‘We’ve also spent a bit of time cleaning roofs that were contaminated with fire-retardant.’’

He said while the Numurkah Recovery Centre had closed, council representatives were still working with the Victorian Farmers Federation, community groups and volunteers to organise the clean-up.

‘‘At the moment we’re dealing with the critical issues — other, less critical issues will take some more time,’’ Mr Booth said.

‘‘We’re also mindful most people affected in the Wunghnu Complex were also impacted by the floods. I think the compounding effect for some people will test their resilience.’’

Victorian Farmers Federation spokesman Peter Hunt said United Dairyfarmers Victoria was working with local contractors to supply and build fences across the area and several fodder deliveries had already been made to the region, with more to come.

Additional hay is being supplied through the region’s own Bale Out Fodder Appeal.

But he said the federation’s fodder provision was a short-term solution.

‘‘Basically fodder will only be available until March 11,’’ Mr Hunt said.

‘‘It’s emergency fodder only, it’s not a long-term solution, so ultimately people will have to find agistment or other fodder supplies.’’


For more information, phone Moira Shire Council on 58719222 or Victorian Farmers Federation on 1300882833.


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