In February some AIDA Committee members attended a very interesting meeting in Lorne to discuss fire issues, particularly around traffic management and evacuation of communities along the coast.
Also present were Rowan McKenzie, Manager Environment and Community Safety, Surf Coast Shire (SCS); Peter Ashton, Coordinator Community Safety Management, SCS; Rob Wiley, Senior Sergeant for the Surf Coast VicPol; Clive Goldsworthy, SCS Lorne Ward Councillor; Ian Stewart, Chair, Committee for Lorne; Peter Spring, Committee for Lorne; and Chris Tutungie, Lorne CFA.
Issues around fire, traffic management and evacuation planning were discussed and questions asked about what has been learnt and changed since the Wye River fire.
Rob Wiley elaborated on the way incidents are controlled and managed by the various agencies.
The Shire has been doing some research work with the CSIRO looking at various scenarios of fire incidents and evacuation possibilities.
It was clear that there would need to be a lot of community involvement with the approach being taken and political buy-in would be important.
Questions were asked about the inflow of people along the road when it’s a Code Red day and residents following their fire plans are leaving. There is no one with authority to close the road unless an emergency has been called.
There was also a lot of discussion about messaging and the need for accurate and concise messages around fire incidents.
Maps for Aireys, Anglesea and Lorne showing fire danger analysis for the areas will be widely distributed when finalized.
AIDA’s‘What If’session following the AGM will allow a wider audience to discuss these very important issues and we encourage you to attend.
Everyone in the community is welcome to the ‘What If’discussion of traffic management and evacuation issues during a bush fire. Please see further information in the AGM notice, p. 1, and the flyer on p. 8.