Council staff deployed to assist

Emergency Management and Recovery co-ordinator Bryan McCarthy briefs Mitchell Shire Mayor David Lowe and acting chief executive Mary Agostino.

Council staff from both Mitchell and Macedon Ranges shires have been deployed to Victoria’s north-east to assit with bushfire response and recovery.

Mitchell Shire Council staff have joined many other local government staff to support councils to assist people in the Wangaratta, Alpine and Towong shires through providing a range of skills, expertise and manpower to meet the needs of the response and recovery process.

The decision to send staff was weighed up with the current needs of Mitchell Shire.

Mitchell Shire Mayor David Lowe said the council’s Emergency Management Team ensured that the council remained ready if an emergency was to occur within the shire.

Cr Lowe said council staff were providing on-ground co-ordination of local government response operations, relief centre assistance and providing support at an animal relief centre.

“The fires in the north east of our state have been swift and intense and Mitchell Shire is ready to provide assistance to our neighbours during this difficult and challenging time,” he said.

Macedon Ranges Shire Council has deployed two emergency management staff to Towong Shire.

Acting chief executive officer Karen Stevens said council’s experienced and skilled staff would be based at the council offices in Tallangatta, which was outside the current fire area.

She said the council had the capacity to assist last week and the weather was milder, which reduced the likelihood of bushfires in Macedon Ranges.

“We are pleased to be able to offer assistance to councils affected by the bushfires and share our expertise and knowledge with them,” Ms Stevens said.

Acting Mayor Mandi Mees said council was always keen to assist where possible when other councils were affected by bushfires and other emergencies.

“We know how devastating bushfires can be to a region, and we want to help in whatever way we can to assist our fellow councils to help their communities following these terrible fires,” she said.