The purpose of MADRA's initial community consultation process was to obtain a solid list of projects we were confident had community backing. This is so when governments and donors ask, “What does your community want?”, we could hand over our endorsed Recovery Plan and say, "This is what we want".
In 2020 and early 2021, COVID-19 restrictions meant we could not hold large community meetings. Instead, draft Recovery Plan chapters were put out to community for comment via the Mallacoota Mouth newsletter and email. Hard copies were made available at the Genoa Pub and Mallacoota Bushfire Recovery Hub. We also met with smaller groups when we could to discuss needs and priorities.
When COVID-19 restrictions eased, we held our face-to-face community consultation. This started with opening sessions in March 2021 in Genoa and Mallacoota. A video presentation on the community consultation process was shown - see below.
After holding consultation sessions on Recovery Pillars, we asked ask community members to vote ‘Yes ‘or ‘No’ to recovery project ideas that had not already commenced and to list their project priorities.
The full Voting Report is available HERE
The pillar sessions
During the period April to May 2021, two sessions each on each Recovery Pillar were held at the Mallacoota Community Clubrooms. The exception was Aboriginal Healing and Culture which is dependent on opportunities to consult with traditional owners.
The purpose of these sessions was twofold:
- To enable community members to discuss recovery ideas with the MADRA committee and representatives from pertinent community associations and relevant agencies.
- To ask community members to vote ‘Yes ‘or ‘No’ to recovery project ideas that had not already commenced and to list their project priorities.
The voting process
Voting forms were made available at the Pillar sessions, via the Mallacoota Mouth and at the Genoa Pub and Mallacoota Bushfire Recovery Hub.
Information on projects already underway was included at the end of the voting forms for each Pillar.
The voting process enabled us to determine outline those projects which have community endorsement, those which need more work, and those which are not agreed. This Plan was updated to reflect these outcomes and the status changed from ‘draft’ to ‘endorsed’.
We asked community members to vote for several reasons:
- So, community’s thoughts could be heard and shared
- So, we know which projects have the most support – as volunteers with limited capacity we need to know where to focus our efforts.
- So, we could further shape the nature of projects based on your insights and comments.
We knew not all projects could be funded and some projects might be funded from the same finite ‘bucket of money’ – we therefore needed to understand community priorities.
Project voting results
Community Consultation Wrap-up
MADRA’s Community Consultation Wrap-up was held on 22 June 2021, when results of our community consultation voting were presented to the community.
Based on the results of the voting, we have incorporated all suggestions into our community-led Recovery Plan and changed the status from ‘draft’ to ‘endorsed’.
The presentation video that was shown at the Wrap-up is available below.
Top 25 projects
Projects were grouped under four of the Bushfire Recovery 'Pillars':
- People and wellbeing
- Buildings and infrastructure
- Environment and biodiversity
- Business and economy
These were the most strongly supported projects for each pillar. Full voting results for every project are available in our Voting Report.
People and Wellbeing
- Seek support from the East Gippsland Shire Council and other government agencies to create apprenticeships, training, and work opportunities for young people.
- A readily available evacuation plan developed by government and community members which factors in key issues such as seasonal populations, evacuation routes, sheltering facilities, jurisdictional boundaries, messaging to communities and risks to safe evacuation.
- Develop a mechanism for ensuring emergency response crews outside Mallacoota and District are informed about the local community and its features.
- Establish collaborative protocols and partnerships between regional and local emergency services for the Operations and Recovery phases of emergencies.
- For disasters and emergencies, improve continuous communication, early warning, and advice of supports to Mallacoota and District.
Buildings and Infrastructure
- Emergency diesel storage.
- Conduct an independent fire audit to identify and assess critical infrastructure, risk, emergency resources, and other disaster considerations.
- Review and update Mallacoota and District planning overlays to incorporate bushfire lessons learned.
- Develop and implement a footpath plan for Mallacoota and District.
- In addition to funding the Genoa-Mallacoota Road, road improvements including roads subject to inundation, regular grading, repairs to holes and unstable shoulders and verge clearing.
- Information boards and signage to replace damaged items.
- Refurbish the mudbrick pavilion.
- Enhance our recreation spaces and parks.
- Improvements for the WWII Bunker including stand-alone power, improved BBQ facilities and a display/meeting room.
- Upgrade the Genoa tennis shed to a more user-friendly clubroom.
Environment and Biodiversity
- Building on the work of existing volunteer groups and agencies, ongoing remedial works including weed removal, coast care, pest control, erosion control and revegetation projects.
- An annual review of fuel management action plans.
- Overseeing the implementation of fuel management action plans.
- Seek additional human and other resources for protection and management of our wilderness.
- Support and promote sustainable tourism, in keeping with our natural and community values.
Business and Economy
- Encourage greater participation in the local artisans and produce market.
- Support and establish social enterprises; businesses which intentionally trade to tackle social problems, provide access to employment and training, or help the environment.
- An environmental studies program including information about local flora and fauna, guided bush walks and field days.
- Events with a local or topical theme. Ideas include a film festival featuring local productions and an annual forest management conference.
- Land management industry certification and training together with local employment in land management projects.
Consultation presentation videos
MADRA Community Consultation Process
In March 2021, MADRA presented the draft Recovery Plan to the Mallacoota and District communities. This presentation began the community consultation process. It covers the history of MADRA, the community-led recovery progress to date and the consultation process.
Wrap-up Session Presentation
This video was presented to the Mallacoota and District community members and partnering agencies on June 22nd, 2021. This video takes you through MADRA's recovery achievements and the results of the community votes in the areas of: People and Wellbeing, Buildings and Infrastructure, Environment and Biodiversity and Business and Economy.