Kalorama Community Meeting - Conversation summary

Yarra Ranges Council, in partnership with emergency services and state government, are holding a series of Storm Recovery Community Meetings to provide an update on storm recovery and answer your questions.


On Monday 28 June 2021, we visited the Kalorama Relief Hub to hear from residents who were impacted by the recent storms.

The purpose of the community meeting was to provide a safe space for community members to share their stories, ask questions and tell us what support they need.

You said

  • You are very grateful to all the community members who supplied food, shelter, power and services to those who needed it
  • The community really came together in a time of need
  • Businesses are struggling and need help
  • Debris, green waste, and clean-up are huge – it can’t be left to property owners
  • Financial assistance is needed by many community members and business owners, but it needs to be thought out and realistic
  • All emergency assistance is provided by phone or email, therefore better connectivity is needed
  • Roads need to be clear, safe and open
  • There’s a rising sense of frustration within the community
  • There’s a clear absence of support from the Premier
  • This event showed that emergency plans need to be revisited
  • Fallen trees need to be safely removed – there are leaning trees overhanging the roads that need to be assessed and removed
  • Rebuilding and temporary housing solutions need to be considered
  • The wood from fallen trees should be used to improve the community
  • Neighbouring towns have no idea of the sheer scale of impact this storm caused to Kalorama

You suggested

  • A Community Recovery Committee
  • A hub or other community feature be built from fallen tree wood
  • Free firewood should be available for storm affected communities
  • Monthly dinners hosted by the council
  • Plan and action for dangerous trees
  • Fallen trees are used within the community – sculptures, traditional owners smoking ceremony and healing, repair damaged buildings, furniture, etc
  • Better power and NBN solutions
  • Underground power
  • An improvement to initial response times – the first five days were spent with only CFA support
  • Community hubs should be permanent, can one be built with fallen timber. Information and guidance about insurance provided to the community

We heard

  • You need relief and recovery information in print form, not just online or by phone
  • We need another form of reliable communications, especially on high-risk days when community are only relying on others for information
  • Connectivity, telephone, NBN needs to be addressed
  • A centralised system for recovery support, services and programs is essential
  • Help, guidance, and advice for clean-up is required
  • Financial support is necessary to help businesses and individuals
  • Community hubs and recovery centres need to be available throughout the recovery process
  • The Kalorama community is resilient and this needs to be celebrated
  • Community organisations and representatives need to be part of recovery planning and decision making
  • Planning for future weather events needs to happen and community members should be part of it
  • Businesses need support after the storms but also after COVID-19 restrictions
  • The community has been through a lot and there is more to come
  • We need to rally around community members, businesses and organisations to help you determine your own recovery and allow the healing to happen
  • You would like a centralised place for all the storm recovery information, including contact details

What’s happening

We gathered all relevant relief and recovery agencies in one place so you could hear from them.

Council is:

  • working with state government as well as relief and recovery agencies to provide a coordinated response to the storm
  • committed to community safety
  • offering green waste and debris collection sites, as well as mulch as an interim option while a larger scale clean-up program is developed
  • calling on the state government to help with clean-up
  • utilising government partnerships to learn from past recovery efforts to inform recovery solutions for Kalorama
  • working closely with community members and businesses to understand their specific needs and support their recovery 

What’s next

  • We’ll hold community meetings across Yarra Ranges to understand what’s needed in each community
  • We’ll consult with local businesses and community to inform plans for programs that support community-led recovery
  • We’re working with Bushfire Recovery Victoria to identify what the best clean-up approach is
  • We’ll continue to work through the large number of tree and drainage requests across the municipality to help with road safety and access 
  • Continue to advocate to the State Government for support with the clean-up of public and private property
  • We’ll establish four ‘Community Recovery Committees’ that will help individuals and communities over the short to medium term recover from impacts of both COVID-19 and the storm.
  • We’ll continue to provide the community with relevant and updated information as the recovery from the storm event carries on.
  • We’ll advocate for better telecommunications infrastructure to mitigate black spots

If you or someone you love was impacted by the storm and needs help, please call 1300 368 333.