General News

25 February, 2024

Premier pays tribute to community spirit

Premier Jacinta Allan has promised to seek improvements to telecommunications during emergencies after hearing first hand of the difficulties faced by residents whose homes were destroyed in last week's fires.

By Caitlin Menadue

Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan speaking at Dadswells Bridge.
Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan speaking at Dadswells Bridge.

"The first three conversations I had when I walked into the station were from members of the local community raising exactly this issue," Ms Allan said while visiting Dadswells Bridge and Pomonal on Thursday.

The two communities lost 47 homes after fires swept through last Tuesday, sparked by lightning strikes in the Grampians.

Dadswells Bridge local Bill Bloodworth questioned the Premier about having an efficient phone tower built closer to the community.

Ms Allan said it was imperative for rural communities to stay connected.

"We know there are more areas that need to be picked up," she said.

"We'll work out how we can raise this with the telcos who are responsible for this."

Ms Allan paid tribute to the community spirit in the wake of the disaster.

"I want to say a deep and heartful thank you to local community members who do what they do in times of emergency and step up to support each other," she said during her tour of the district.

"We had people out on the trucks on Tuesday, not knowing if their own property had been hit or was under threat."

She also visited the Horsham Incident Control Centre, where she was briefed on the fire situations.

"Brilliant work," Ms Allan said.

District 17 acting chief officer Mark Gunning said the outpouring of support from the local community was unbelievable.

"There are neighbours here today who have come in to help landholders clean up," Mr Gunning said.

"Yesterday there was a local business receiving donations of dog food, cat food, clothing - all the things that people need but don't know how to access in the circumstances."

Mr Gunning said the council, local health services and private health providers had come together to ensure those who needed access to services would be made a priority.

"Locals supporting locals have been absolutely outstanding," he said.

Member for Lowan Emma Kealy said her office had received offers of support from pet food businesses, removalists and local churches.

"It just goes to show we all help in a time of need," she said.

A GoFundMe page for bushfire recovery has been made available to those who want to help the community get back onto its feet.



Most Popular