Blaze shows need for help plan

DEPUTY Premier Peter Ryan yesterday helped launch Alpine Shire’s three-year Community Resilience Plan.

The plan, to help communities cope with natural disasters like floods, fires and storms, has been five years in the making since the Black Saturday bushfire in 2009.

Speaking at the Happy Valley hall in Rosewhite, Mr Ryan said the recent Harrietville fire was a perfect example of why a plan was necessary.

“It’s to make sure that people are prepared to accommodate the sorts of threats that we’ve seen only too recently,” he said.

“It might be flood, it might be other forms of disaster that befall a community, having a community resilience plan is a great thing.”

Alpine Council mayor Peter Roper said his community would need to be resilient to overcome the latest fire.

“We’re very pleased Mr Ryan is here so we can chew his ear as to what the government can help us with as far as the economic stress of the fire,” Cr Roper said.

“Apart from Dinner Plain which is completely shut, Harrietville has been partially shut ... but the fire affects Falls Creek, Mount Beauty and Bright, so all the accommodation places are struggling.

“We’re not going to get the money back that we’ve lost but what we can do is put something in place to recognise that there has been a huge chunk lost.”

Cr Roper said it was absolutely crucial the Great Alpine Road was open by Easter to start recouping losses from the fire.

“We need to advertise now that we’re open for business again,” Cr Roper said.

“It’ll take us a while to get us back to full steam again but we need to be open and ready for business by Easter.”

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