As Round 3 of Bushfire-Ready Neighbourhoods nears its end, Ansons Bay remains a significant priority for the Northeast District. This area has been a BRN target community for two years, and in this time significant work has been done by the community to identify their bushfire risk and begin the process of engaging stakeholders to work towards reducing these risks.
Numerous stakeholders have collaborated to address some of the most urgent issues for the community, including Parks and Wildlife Service, Break O’Day Council, tourist operators, federal government and Telstra representatives, private land owners, neighbouring brigades, TFS District staff, holiday house owners and residents – all with the goal of achieving a more resilient Ansons Bay community.
The community quickly identified the need for improved telecommunications in the area, which has limited mobile reception available. Residents have formed a working group to address this issue and have conducted several meetings with Telstra and government stakeholders. This will be a slow process, but with community support, thorough engagement and a collaborative approach, progress is being made.
Another issue for Ansons Bay was the declining membership of the Volunteer Fire Brigade. The community has now came together to ensure the survival of their brigade. With support from TFS Operational Training staff, the District Officer, Rick Mahnken, and Group Officer, Rodney Moore, the community was able to recruit over 20 new members. Today the brigade has 20 operational firefighters who have completed level 1 training in under 12 months.
Not a bad achievement for the community in a short period.
A number of residents have taken up the Volunteer Community Engagement Officer role. These members continue to undertake development in the engagement and community fire safety roles to build a safer, more resilient community.
Work will continue with this wonderful community who have come together with a set of common goals. They are working hard together to achieve the best outcomes for the community. Bringing people together to work collaboratively, identify strategies, engage stakeholders and achieve outcomes is community engagement.
I’m looking forward to the next stage of community and brigade development with Ansons Bay residents and shack owners.
David Cleaver, Community Development Officer, North