Alpine leading the way in fire safety

Bright’s township fire protection plan is likely to influence the entire state’s approach to fire safety.

CFA’s North East and Barwon/Corangamite areas are working together to develop a proposed state template for township protection plans. They will combine the best features of Bright and Anglesea’s plans before presenting the template to the Township Protection Planning State Reference Group on 28 May. If approved, the template will be used to develop township protection plans all over Victoria.

Council and the North East CFA have worked closely with Bright community members, tourism operators and business owners since February 2010 to improve the existing township plan. That plan was implemented during the 2009/2010 bushfire season after the interim recommendations of the Royal Commission. Bright’s new township plan was presented to the community and Bright P-12 College students on 21 April, receiving positive feedback.

North East CFA Project Officer Richard Gardner said existing plans for surrounding towns would be updated once Bright’s plan was approved.

“Bright is one of the most advanced in the state for developing a township protection plan,” he said.

“With the Barwon/Corangamite CFA’s help we hope to develop the state 2010 template. Once approved, it will enable us to quickly review existing plans in Harrietville, Wandiligong, Bogong and Porepunkah. Developing township protection plans for these towns has been identified as a priority. The Bright community can be proud of developing, owning and controlling a quality township protection plan that the whole state can follow.”

Council Senior Ranger and Fire Protection Officer Darryl Farmer said it was important to continually improve fire safety awareness.

“The township protection plan is an evolving process,” he said.

“We will continue to work with the community to improve the plan and fire safety awareness. Currently Bright and Wandiligong are combined in the one plan. This will enable us to develop a separate township protection plan for the Wandiligong community.”

The plan clearly shows Bright’s neighbourhood safer place, place of last resort (Bright Football Ground) and features easy to follow photos, markings and maps. It is anticipated that the plan will be displayed on Council’s website, in shop fronts, motels and the Alpine Visitor Information Centre.

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