Changes To Three Neighbourhood Safer Places
A Neighbourhood Safer Place (NSP) is a last resort shelter option that may assist people when there is imminent threat of bushfire and they have no plan, or their planned options are no longer available.
Bass Coast Shire Council’s Acting Community and Economic Development Director, Antoinette Mitchell, said that following the annual Country Fire Authority (CFA) inspection of all NSPs there were changes made to three – Ventnor, Inverloch and Grantville.
“The NSP site in Ventnor was assessed by the CFA as having surrounding fuel loads that were too high to allow people to use it safely,” Ms Mitchell said.
“Due to this assessment, Council has decommissioned the site at 491 Ventnor Beach Road, Ventnor.
“Council and members of the Municipal Fire Management Planning Committee including CFA, the Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) and Victoria Police, will investigate the ongoing requirement for a Neighbourhood Safer Place in Ventnor.
“Until this further investigation is completed, the closest NSP to Ventnor is the Cowes Recreation Reserve.”
The Inverloch Community Hub building has been removed from the designated NSP in Inverloch, which for a number of years included both the Hub building and the surrounding grounds. However, the Inverloch Community Hub grounds, on the corner of Reilly and A'Beckett Streets, have been retained and accepted by the CFA as suitable as a standalone NSP.
Ms Mitchell noted that this decision was made as the Hub building was designated as a potential Emergency Relief Centre for use in an emergency, and the use of a building for twin purposes is not encouraged.
The Grantville NSP in the grounds of the Memorial Park in Grantville has been slightly reduced in size.
“A small corner of the area has been cut from the previously designated site due to a review of CFA assessment criteria,” Ms Mitchell said.
The remaining four Bass Coast NSPs are unaltered and may be found at:
- Pioneer Bay - Daisy Road Reserve - 11 Daisy Avenue
- Cowes/Silverleaves - Cowes Recreation Reserve - 1-15 Church Street
- Cape Woolamai - Woolamai Park - 11-19 Sunnyside Avenue
- Cape Paterson - Anchor Parade Road/Park Parade Road Reserve
”Residents must remember that Neighbourhood Safer Places are places of absolute last resort. Many houses may offer better protection than Neighbourhood Safer Places,” Ms Mitchell said.
“They can make their property safer by clearing up weeds, sticks and leaves, and removing firewood, rubbish and other fuel from around their property.
“Everyone should have a Bushfire Survival Plan and should practise it. The key is planning ahead; know what you will do and where you’ll go on a hot, dry and windy day. Remember, leaving early means leaving your area before there are any signs of fire – not when you can see smoke or flames, or smell smoke.”
Check out CFA’s website at www.cfa.vic.gov.au or call the Victorian Bushfire Information Line on 1800 240 667 for more information on how to stay safe this summer.