MADRA PRESS RELEASE: MALLACOOTA AIRPORT

Recent announcements about the downgrading of Mallacoota Airport by removing instrument navigation facilities have caused the Mallacoota and district community real concerns. While the airport remains open for VFR operations, the downgrade restricts access to the airport potentially limiting Air Ambulance and Angel Flight operations, aside from other aircraft movements that rely on instrument navigation when visual flight navigation is not possible.

As a result of approaches from MADRA and other concerned community members, a meeting was convened on Tuesday 9 August between MADRA and senior officers of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, East Gippsland Shire Council (as owner of the airport) and our two parliamentary representatives, Mr Darren Chester MP and Mr Tim Bull MP.

“The discussions between the various parties were cordial and productive,” says Mr Ken Grime, MADRA Committee Member. “Resulting from the discussions, CASA and EGSC have agreed to take steps to finalise certification of the airport, which will see the re-introduction of instrument navigation. CASA and EGSC are reporting back to the community within 14 days on progress to resolve any outstanding certification issues and likely timelines for resolution.”

“Having a strong local community organisation like MADRA, that is committed to productive working relationships with all government entities and representatives, assists remote communities to achieve outcomes that may not be achieved where such coordinated representation is not present. The MADRA Committee thanks all of the representatives who met on Tuesday for their willingness to find a solution in a bipartisan and productive way.”

MADRA

Email: Madra.3892@gmail.com


About MADRA

Welcome to MADRA's website.

Our community encompasses the localities of Mallacoota, Genoa, Gipsy Point, Wangarabell, Weeragua, Maramingo Creek, Wallagaraugh, Gipsy Point and Wroxham, collectively known as Mallacoota and District.

Like so many others in Australia, our district was ravaged by fire in the Black Summer of 2019-20. The fires reached us on 31 December 2019 when, in scenes relayed around the world, thousands of people sought shelter on our foreshores as the fires approached.

A total of 123 homes were destroyed and 83% of land area burned. Many more properties suffered damage including losses of outbuildings, water tanks and fences. We lost a much-loved local, Fred Becker, who passed away while fighting the fires. There was significant loss and devastation of wildlife and forest, and much of our wilderness coast infrastructure including boardwalks, lookouts and access steps was destroyed or damaged.

In the immediate aftermath of the fires, a ‘Thinking Group’ was formed, which led to planning and consultation about implementing a community-led recovery program for Mallacoota. A proposed model for co-ordinating community recovery was put to a town meeting in February 2020, attended by an estimated 500 plus people. The proposal was overwhelmingly endorsed, and the Mallacoota and District Recovery Association (MADRA) was formed.

The first MADRA committee was formed in May 2020, after an election was held to vote for the 44 local candidates who had nominated. In August 2021, MADRA's first AGM led to its second (and current) committee being formed.

Go to Our History for more info about MADRA's early days.

Bushfire regrowth

MADRA Committee members

Past and present MADRA committee members. L to R: Jenny Lloyd, previous deputy chair; Paul Preston, chair; David Appleton, previous chair; Carol Hopkins, secretary; Graham Dempster, treasurer; Ken Grime, committee member. Photo: Mary O'Malley

Our Committee

Chair: Paul Preston

Secretary: Carol Hopkins

Treasurer: Graham Dempster

General members:

Kate Cowden, Ken Grime, Peter Hancock, Rosy Morton, Jeanette Obri, Phil Piper, Bryce Watts-Parker

Chair: Dr David Appleton

Deputy Chair: Jenny Lloyd

Secretary: Trindi Suratman

Treasurer: Graham Dempster

General members:

Jude Benton, Tanya de Geus, Brodie Gaudion, Peter Hancock, Paul Preston, Mark Tregellas,
Kerri Warren, Bryce Watts-Parker

Our Mission

Chair

We play an active role in community-led recovery by:

  • encouraging community involvement in the recovery and rebuilding process and related activities.
  • identifying and prioritising the needs of MAD and assisting in the recovery and rebuilding process.
  • influencing government bodies to work to meet identified community needs and priorities.
  • facilitating communication of information between community, government and agencies.
  • advocating for individuals, families and community groups.
  • attracting and applying for monies and identifying projects/needs requiring funding.
  • providing a focus for communication and coordination between community groups.
  • channelling funding and other opportunities to appropriate groups and individuals.
  • working with our funding and delivery partners to ensure optimal disaster recovery outcomes for MAD.
  • working with other Community Recovery Committees (CRCs) to share lessons learned and offer support.

Our Vision

Our vision will be achieved when:

  • Everyone in our community who needs bushfire assistance has received it, no-one will have slipped between the recovery process cracks.
  • We have restored what we loved and improved on what we didn’t.
  • As a community, we feel confident we are prepared in the face of disaster.
  • Through the recovery process, we have identified and created opportunities that promote resilience, diversity, well-being, connectedness and economic security.

Our Recovery Plan

MADRA's Recovery Plan

MADRA's Recovery Plan is a dynamic document which reflects our community’s priorities as we recover from the devastating bushfires of 2019-20.

The Recovery Plan captures and synthesises the thoughts and efforts of many individuals and organisations. In so doing, we lay the foundations for community led recovery.

This is our recovery story.