Bunyip State Park Fires - Community Update 22 March 2019


The Bunyip Complex Fire is still an ongoing incident.

Up to date information can be found via www.emergency.vic.gov.au or the VicEmergency app. 

This update was issued on Friday 22 March and is valid until Friday 28 March. Click here to download a printable version of this Community Update .(PDF, 159KB)

What is Council Doing/What is Council's Role

  • Council is continuing to work with the emergency service agencies to prepare long-term Recovery Plans for the region.
  • Council is preparing a recovery community engagement strategy which will be publicly available. 
  • Council Officers are available for residents impacted in relation to the support that can be made available to assist with potable water, stock water, cleaning up and removal of waste.
  • Council is working with Victorian Council of Churches Emergency Ministry (VCCEM) and Red Cross to assist impacted residents.


  • Information contained below may be of use to yourself or your family members and friends. Concerns may become apparent quickly, or at any time after the event.
  • Case support workers are available to work with individuals by helping them navigate the various support services available including:
    • Financial assistance;
    • Mental health services and Family violence supports;
    • Services for repairing and rebuilding damaged properties and re-establishing livelihoods.
  • The program is available now and for the next 12 months.
  • To access the service, contact council or call 1800 560 760.
  • Further Information relating to the case management can be found via http://www.emergency.vic.gov.au/relief
  • Community recovery fact sheets are available from the Council website via http://www.bawbawshire.vic.gov.au/CommunityBushfireUpdate
  • A short video on how you can help yourself to recover can be found via https://youtu.be/ia4ZU-KksyY
  • The better health channel has bushfire information that can be found via www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au

Community Recovery Centre

The Community Bushfire Recovery Centre for the Bunyip Complex Fire will be located at the Tonimbuk Hall from Monday 25 March 2019.

  • Tonimbuk Hall, 1900 Gembrook-Tonimbuk Rd
  • Open Weekdays, 10am – 3pm (from Monday 25 March 2019)

Please note: Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is no longer located at the recovery centre. To contact DHHS for case support or financial assistance, call 1800 560 760.

Community Grants

  • Council has identified the following grants that community groups can apply for to support their recovery. 

Grant Program



Key Dates

Strengthening Rural Communities

Small & Vital

Grants for communities in small rural, regional and remote locations in Australia. This small and vital tier of funding supports projects with grants up to $10,000


Closes 26 March 2019

Community Group Futures

Community Group Futures program is aimed at helping not for profit organisations affected by the 2009 Victorian Bushfires to think beyond day to day operations and look ahead to ensure they can meet ongoing community needs.


Closes 9 April 2019

Grants for Resilience and Wellness

Program with the specific focus of providing assistance towards community-strengthening and resilience building projects for communities affected by the 2009 Victorian Bushfires to build strength and capacity for the future.


Closes 9 April 2019

Tackling tough times together

The tackling tough times together program helps communities access the resources they need to support one another through the drought. Open year round, grants up to $20,000 and $60,000 are available, with EOI’s invited for grants up to $150,000.


Closes 30 April 2019

Baw Baw Shire Council Community Development Grants

Multiple Categories Available including Minor Capital Works, Environmental Projects and Minor Equipment Grants

EOI for Minor Capital Works closes 29 March 2019.



Closes 29 March 2019 & 10 May 2019

FRRR, ABC Heywire Youth Innovation Grants

Grants to help communities tackle the issues concerning young people across rural, regional and remote Australia


Opens April 2019

ANZ Seeds of Renewal

An ANZ funded program that aims to help build thriving communities in rural, regional and remote areas of Australia through the provision of Grants. Seeds of renewal also offers information technology equipment.


Opens July 2019

Caring for Ageing Rural Australians

A targeted program designed to benefit and support older people living in small rural and remote communities in Victoria


Opens August 2019



  • Roads and walking tracks around Bunyip State Park have been closed for community safety due to risks from several sources including falling trees/branches.
  • Some roads and tracks may be closed because they lead to fire grounds where firefighters are still working.
  • The community are advised that driving or entering beyond a road closure point could void any of your insurances. A full list of closures can be found on the VicRoads website www.vicroads.vic.gov.au 

Water (Tank)

  • Department of Health and Human Services recommend that those with tank water check to ensure it is safe for consumption. Information on health and safety of tank water can be found via https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/HealthyLiving/bushfires-and-water-tanks
  • If contaminated, tanks should be professionally cleaned before you replenish your water supply. Council does not provide cleaning or replenishing services of tanks.

Water (Dam)

  • Property owners have until 2 May 2019 to apply to Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning for replacement of Essential water.  
  • Property owners who have had water taken from dams or other structures for fire-fighting purposes can apply to Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning for Essential Water Replacement. Information on essential water replacement can be found via https://www.ffm.vic.gov.au/recovery-after-an-emergency/public-land-recovery

Clean Up

Keeping safe and avoiding risks

Asbestos risk

Treated timber ash

  • Council Officers will be contacting impacted residents in relation to the support that can be made available to assist with cleaning up and removal of waste. 
  • Ash from burnt timbers that have been treated with copper chrome arsenate (CCA) is a danger to people and animals.
  • Keep children and pets away from the CCA-treated timber ash until it is removed.
  • Ash from CCA-treated timber can be double-bagged, sealed and taken directly to your local landfill. When removing CCA treated timber ash, wear protective gloves, disposable overalls, and a P1 or P2 face mask (P2 masks are sometimes referred to as N95 masks) to minimise exposure to dust. Do not bury CCA treated timber ash.
  • More information is available on the Better Health Channel https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/HealthyLiving/copper-chrome-arsenic-cca-treated-timber


  • Residents considering rebuilding should seek advice from a private building surveyor.
  • State and Local Building Regulations will apply to residents wanting to rebuild. 

Contact us

We’re here to help! For more information please contact us by calling 1 300 BAW BAW (1300 229 229) or 5624 2411 or emailing bawbaw@bawbawshire.vic.gov.au .