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2009 Redesdale / Barfold Bushfires - Recovery Information

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Bushfire Memorials

In 2011 Mount Alexander Shire Council and Macedon Ranges Shire Council held four community meetings to discuss the development of Bushfire Memorials for the communities affected by the Barfold / Redesdale Bushfires.

The meetings allowed the communities of Mia Mia, Barfold and Redesdale to discuss their view of what memorial should or could be, as well as put forward different options and ideas.
Following these meetings, Community Facilitator Sally Goldstraw has written a report that offers a detailed overview of the ideas expressed at the meetings and offers recommendations for the next steps.

The report includes:
  • Process to date;
  • Outcomes from meetings;
  • Recommendations; and
  • Ongoing process and accountability structures.
View the report here: 

Resources Available for the Bushfire Affected Community

Community Leadership and Capacity Building Program for Bushfire Affected Communities

A two-year grants program, known as STEPS (Skills, Training, Engagement & Practical Support), is now open.
The program offers a source of funds to support not-for-profit community groups affected by the Victorian 2009 Bushfires.

Grants from $100 - $30,000 are available for projects that build resilience, create networks and partnerships, and support the development of community leadership. Closing dates for applications will be at the end of each month until April 2013 or all funds are committed.

Application forms and guidelines can be downloaded from the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal’s website:

Putting Locals First Program

The Putting Locals First Program (PLFP) is a $100 million initiative under the Regional Growth Fund that is designed to enable regional communities to devise and deliver service and infrastructure responses which reflect local priorities.

The program aims to improve infrastructure, facilities and services, increase business and employment opportunities, improve community connections, and enable communities to take action on their own behalf.

The program is open to local government, not-for-profit organisations, private sector businesses and agencies, and educational institutions, and comprises the following three components:
  • Improved local infrastructure - Grants up to $500,000
  • Local economic development and job creation - Grants up to $150,000
  • Local community Initiatives - Grants up to $150,000
Project planning grants up to $30,000 may also be provided to support the development of future proposals for the categories above.

Application forms and guidelines can be downloaded from Regional Development Victoria’s website:

Fire Ready Communities Grants Program

The Fire Ready Communities grants program is a $5 million initiative that will run over four years.

It has been made available to the 52 identified high bushfire risk locations (which include Castlemaine) to support innovative locally-identified and locally-managed projects.

The funding intends to provide an opportunity for local communities to:
  • Think about the local environment and understand the risks
  • Understand their own capacity to respond to and recover from bushfire and other emergency situations
  • Understand the risks and plan realistically for strengthening their response and recovery efforts in times of bushfire and other emergencies
  • Find local solutions
Funding will be provided to support communities to facilitate important community-wide conversation, develop an understanding of key issues, deliver information / education to the community, and identify and implement practical solutions.

The program is open to local government and not-for-profit organisations under two streams:
  • Community safety projects – Grants of up to $30,000
  • Community networks – Grants of up to $100,000
Application guidelines can be downloaded from the Department of Planning and Community Development’s website:

Other Resources

You can access the Community Recovery News for the Redesdale / Barfold fires produced by Council throughout February 2009 to September 2010:


The 2009 bushfires across Victoria were one of Australia’s worst natural disasters.

In our Shire, the 7 February 2009 fire (known at first as the Coliban Park Road fire) started near the Coliban River, 8 kilometres south-west of Redesdale.

It burned quickly during the afternoon towards the south-east, and moved through the localities of Barfold, Glenhope and Sidonia. With the cool change from the south-west, the fire moved north and north-east towards Redesdale and Glenhope townships, but was stopped just south of those townships.

The full extent of the area burned was close to 10,000 hectares (more than 22,000 acres), with approximately 40% in Mount Alexander Shire, 30% in Mitchell Shire, 25% in Macedon Ranges Shire and 5% in City of Greater Bendigo.

This was the biggest bushfire known in the Loddon Mallee region, and spread into the Hume region as well.

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