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Victorian Government announces new dedicated agency to guide bushfire recovery

Victorian Government announces new dedicated agency to guide bushfire recovery
January 6, 2020

The Victorian Government has announced that a new permanent dedicated agency will work directly with local communities impacted by the state’s devastating bushfires.

As part of what is expected to be a long process of rebuilding and recovery, the new Bushfire Recovery Victoria (BRV) will be wholly focused on the needs of Victorian communities, working closely with locals to ensure that rehabilitation projects are both locally-driven and locally-delivered.

Recognising the lengthy process of recovery - in addition to the increased risk Victoria faces due to longer and hotter bushfire seasons – the work of BRV will be permanent and includes a commitment to support Victorian communities impacted by future bushfires.

The critical work of BRV will begin straight away and will extend across a range of priorities from the immediate clean-up and ensuring the health and wellbeing of residents and farmers, to longer-term work to help local communities and local economies, like the agricultural and tourism sectors, get back on their feet.

In line with this commitment, Community Recovery Committees will be established to ensure locals have a voice throughout this process, while local jobs and expertise will be prioritised wherever possible.

The agency will also be responsible for advising the Victorian Government on the coordination of efforts and the development of an overarching plan for the restoration and recovery of communities across our state.

Bringing a wealth of experience, former Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police Ken Lay will serve as BRV’s Chair, with Lee Miezis, Deputy Secretary at the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, offering extensive knowledge on fire and emergency management including the recovery at Wye River, to serve as Chief Executive.

The new agency will sit within the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet to ensure whole-of-government coordination, and report directly to Premier Daniel Andrews.

Commenting on the task BRV faces, Premier Andrews stated "recovery is not as simple as rebuilding infrastructure. It’s something that can take us not just months, but years.

“The work of Bushfire Recovery Victoria will focus on the most pressing priorities – but just as importantly, make sure we’re there for the long haul.”

For more information on Bushfire Recovery Victoria go to www.vic.gov.au/brv.

Bushfire image courtesy of the Climate Council.

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