ARARAT Rural City’s new emergency management plan has been praised by the State Emergency Services following an audit.
Ararat’s Municipal Emergency Management Plan 2017-20 was endorsed by Council at the June 27 council meeting before successfully undergoing a 3 yearly audit process by the SES.
SES Assistant Chief Officer Stephen Warren joined the council meeting on Tuesday night to make an address to council.
"Your emergency committee is certainly not just doing the normal going-through-the-motions," Mr Warren said.
"They are always asking questions. They are really looking after this community and doing that with the council's backing.”
An Ararat Rural City report to councillors stated that the the six Municipal Neighbourhood Safer Places have been audited and found suitable.
“The Lake Bolac NSP has been relocated to a more suitable site near the intersection of the Ararat Mortlake Road and the Glenelg Highway,” the report stated.
“Council has been working in collaboration with the Country Fire Authority and Department of Environment identifying high risk fire areas in our rural communities and areas with high vegetation on the northwest interface of towns.
“A private land and public land planned burn in Pomonal has been developed and land owners engaged.
“It is anticipated that this burn will be conducted in September or October to reduce the risk of fire in these communities.”
The new 103-page Municipal Emergency Management Plan stated that farms and small towns south of Ararat, being in open grasslands, were susceptible to fast moving grass fires.
“Rural residential and small area farmlets around Ararat, Armstrong, Moyston and Pomonal are susceptible to fire risk from nearby forests,” the plan stated.
The plan listed senior citizens, visually impaired or intellectually disabled; Hopkins Correctional Centre; wool growing and cropping; Ararat’s schools and manufacturers; and the tourism and wine industries as special groups to consider during emergency management.
The plan listed large regional bushfire; commercial road and rail accidents as top priority risks.
A Municipal Emergency Manager would act as liason between emergency services and the chief executive and councillors during a disaster.