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Probus Recovery Round-Up: Buloke Shire's Community Focus

Probus Recovery Round-Up: Buloke Shire's Community Focus

Publish date: 12 February 2024

 The vibrant pace of our community life and full calendars sometimes complicate gathering for additional events.
This is precisely why the Buloke Shire's Community Recovery Team is committed to delivering vital information at already scheduled community events, as part of the Australian and Victorian Government’s Community Recovery Hubs program.
Last week, Jo Postlethwaite and Sam Wheelhouse from Council’s Recovery Team engaged Probus members in a discussion about emergency awareness, specifically inquiring about their knowledge of essential items for an emergency and sources of dependable information.
They emphasised the importance of having multiple verified sources of information, such as the VicEmergency app, local TV or Sky News, and, when technology fails, the reliable ABC 584AM broadcast via a battery-powered radio.
It was a timely reminder, with extreme weather predicted again this week, to always have access to several verified information sources. These include the VicEmergency phone App, local television or Sky News, and for those moments when technology and power supply isn’t on our side, a trusty ABC Wimmera 584AM broadcast using a battery powered radio.
The team also advocated for preparedness, recommending the Red Cross RediPlan as an essential guide for emergency planning.
They introduced FloodEye, an innovative tool offering real-time flood risk insights, which is accessible online for the public at
They also delved into the importance of Buloke’s Municipal Emergency Management Plan, a key document that directs all pertinent agencies in their response to emergencies. This Plan, currently under review, is crucial for guiding emergency responses and is available for public input at
The conversation also covered the community's concerns about road repairs and town beautification's role in well-being post-flood. Probus members were advised that Council has responded to community feedback, prioritising road infrastructure and seeking pre-approval for funding to efficiently address these issues.
The October 2022 flood's damage, with repair costs expected to exceed $30 million, starkly contrasts the Council's usual $5-6 million annual road maintenance budget. Intensive lobbying for government assistance to meet these repair needs and emergency works has been undertaken.

Key highlights include:

  • Priority initially given to grain harvest traffic after the flood event, to enable farmers to harvest, and to reopen in excess of 150 closed roads.
  • $4.5 million completed in emergency repairs on critical public assets, addressing 7,700 issues such as potholes, edge breaks, and various grading works.This effort significantly surpassesthe efforts of some neighbouring councils, which have reported average estimates of around $500,000 for addressing similar challenges.
  • $222K in Immediate Reconstruction Works of essential public assets completed.
  • $20M in Rehabilitation Works has been submitted for funding approval, and includes gravel and sealed resheet packages and floodways and rehabilitation packages.
    Upcoming projects set to begin include two gravel road resheeting initiatives and two minor patching efforts across the northern and southern regions of the shire, alongside two major patching packages that are currently awaiting approval.

The Recovery Team emphasised the critical need to prevent mosquito-borne diseases by encouraging the use of repellents, wearing loose clothing, and ensuring water containers are emptied post-rain. They highlighted the Council's proactive measures, including Buloke’s Best Lawn, Free Greenwaste promotions, and mosquito trapping efforts, as key components of their community awareness and engagement strategy.
Additionally, initiatives such as the “Buloke Busy Bees” children's colouring books, “Birdie’s” playgroup reading programs, the award-winning initiatives Paddock Run and The Paddock The Goals initiatives, and the recent Buy Buloke campaigns, were mentioned as important for maintaining community spirit and teaching resilience to our children in the face of adversity.