Council’s plan to make shire safe
CAMPASPE Shire has endorsed three plans to prepare, help and recover when flood, fire and heatwaves affect the region.
Mayor Adrian Weston said flood, fire and heatwaves had all been identified as high to extreme risks in the region and as such, separate plans were needed to support the Municipal Emergency Management Plan.
“The Municipal Fire Management Plan was reviewed in June and is designed to develop safer communities, healthier environments and minimise risk to life and property,” Cr Weston said.
“The changes bring the plan up to date and include risk and fire intensity mapping, fire history and planned burn maps in the Rushworth area.
“The Flood Emergency Plan for the Campaspe Municipal District was reviewed in March and includes updated mapping in Rochester, agency contact details and information about FloodZoom – a DELWP water intelligence platform.
“The newly developed Northern Victorian Emergency Management Cluster – Municipal Heatwave Plan recognises the role local government has working with communities around issues associated with heatwave weather events.’’
In a heatwave in 2009, 374 deaths occurred in Victoria along with 173 deaths arising from the Black Saturday bushfires the following week.
“It is clear that climate change is affecting our weather and it is increasingly important that our region is as prepared as possible to handle extreme weather periods,” Cr Weston said.
“Council partners with local organisations to support vulnerable groups in the community and aims to influence long-term behaviours to minimise risk during these challenging and dangerous times.
“Whilst endorsing the plans will not stop weather events occurring, they will help prepare for events and reduce the impact on the community.”
The plans are available on council’s website. CAMPASPE Shire’s Rural Tree Scheme is back.
And it is time for rural landowners to purchase seedlings at a subsidised rate through the scheme.
Mayor Adrian Weston said the scheme is an incentive for rural landowners to improve their property landscape by purchasing native plant species at a reduced cost.
“The scheme is a proven success with the take-up over the last six years exceeding 60,000 plants,” he said.
The planting of trees, shrubs and ground cover species provides multiple benefits to both the landowner and the broader community and catchment.
Indigenous species are particularly suited for the climate and soil in this area.
“Planting trees, shrubs and ground cover not only visually improves the landscape but provides habitat for wildlife and creates privacy and wind breaks,” Cr Weston said.
The species available through the program are low-maintenance plants, with a recent participant survey revealing a survival rate of 75 per cent after three years of planting.
All rural zoned ratepayers are eligible to purchase a limited number of plants at a subsidised rate.
Property size determines the maximum number of plants available to landowners.
Once ordered, plants are available for collection in autumn 2019.
A long lead time is required to enable nurseries to propagate the required species as well as allowing landowners time to prepare the planting site to ensure high survival rates.
“Council and your local Landcare Group can provide landowners with information and advice on species selection and site preparation,” Cr Weston said.
The offer is currently available until November 1 or when the allocated funds have been spent.
Order forms are available from all customer service centres, the Campaspe Shire website or can be mailed out on request.