Bushfire recovery grants go a long way

Lyn Link and George Fry on the new benches at Cannibal Creek Reserve. Pics: SUPPLIED, CARDINIA COUNCIL

Community groups have been busy putting their Cardinia Shire Council bushfire recovery grants to good use.

Following the 2019 Bunyip Complex Bushfires, the council awarded bushfire recovery grants to support local projects and enhance community wellbeing, connection and resilience.

Various groups have been busy helping the community with all sorts of recovery initiatives.

The Tonimbuk Hall Committee used their recovery grant to buy kitchen equipment including an oven, an urn, a microwave, cutlery and crockery.

The hall is now well equipped to host the increasingly popular community dinners at the Tonimbuk Hall that help forge community connection and recovery in the wake of the bushfires.

Another recipient, the Community Recovery Committee, used their grant to purchase a wood splitter and trailer to support the community with clean up following the fires.

The wood splitter and trailer has been available for community members since May 2021 and has already racked up 100 hours of service.

The Cannibal Creek Catchment Landcare Group Inc (CCCLG) used their recovery grant, with additional funding from Garfield Community Opportunity Shop and Bunyip Community Opportunity Shop, to purchase dung beetles and nursery beds.

Dung beetles are used to reinvigorate soils following bushfires by redistributing nutrients, increasing organic matter and improving aeration.

In turn, this improves water retention and increases the availability of nutrients so the bush can bounce back better than ever.

The group also received a dung beetle colony and nursery bed from the Port Phillip and Western Port Catchment Management Authority.

The Warragul Men’s Shed were able to construct pallet beds at cost price for the CCCLG to use and distribute to property owners who wish to raise dung beetles themselves.

The CCCLG plans to educate locals about the environmental benefits of dung beetles with workshops planned for March 2022.

Another organisation putting their grant to good use is the Cannibal Creek Reserve Committee.

The committee members are using their recovery grant to install seats on the nature trail at Cannibal Creek Reserve for everyone to enjoy.

The seats represent the six seasons of the Indigenous calendar and offer a place to rest and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

Over the next few months, the remaining funds will be used to install signage to identify native plants along the trail.

Cardinia Shire Mayor Jeff Springfield praised the efforts of the community groups in their work to facilitate recovery.

“Communities lean on each other in times of difficulty and disaster,” Cr Springfield said.

“The work of the community groups on these projects has made all the difference to the community’s recovery from the bushfires.

“It’s been great to watch as our local community groups put their grants to great use in a variety of ways.”

For more information about bushfire recovery, visit the council’s website at cardinia.vic.gov.au/bushfirerecovery or call the recovery team on 1300 787 624