The Mirror News

New Sandy Point centre to be refuge – eventually

THE official opening will take place in November, but the Sandy Point Community Centre is expected to be ready for use any day now.

The newly constructed centre has one huge room which can comfortably hold 100 people and is suitable for all sorts of functions. There are, in addition, several smaller rooms suitable for community group meetings and visiting consultants.

One important use which has recently been identified for the architect-designed centre is as a Neighbourhood Safer Place – Place of Last Resort (NSP-PLR) for coastal residents. However, it will not be ready for the immediate bushfire season.

South Gippsland Shire Council Chief Executive Officer Tim Tamlin advised that the site cannot be formally designated as an NSP-PLR until all compliance aspects have been handled to meet CFA regulations, and this process will extend beyond the current season.

“The delay is unfortunate but at the same time unavoidable. Council has worked hard to speed the process up, but due to the legal aspects of achieving compliance, it is simply not possible.”

“I am keen for all residents to have a personal bushfire survival plan and to maintain a strong sense of vigilance during the fire season,” said Mr Tamlin. “The safest option will always be to leave early on extreme and Code Red Fire Danger rating days. Safety and survival cannot be guaranteed at these places even when formally designated. They simply offer limited protection against radiant heat and embers.”

With prevention always the best option to minimise risk, residents and landowners are urged to start clearing their blocks of flammable materials and cutting back vegetation that is encroaching on buildings etc.

“Green waste is accepted free of charge at all South Gippsland transfer stations, so take advantage of this council service to make your properties safer,” added Mr Tamlin.

Tips for ensuring your property and family’s safety can be viewed on www.cfa.vic.gov.au.

Editors note: View your local CFA information on the Foster Fire Brigade page.

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