EMMA Hopkins’ determination to help restore fire ravaged parts of Crib Point led to a successful clean-up operation, Saturday.
About 100 residents and 25 defence personnel spent five hours picking up rubbish and packing utes and trailers.
Areas targeted were the foreshore, train station, cemetery, Bay, Lorimer and Disney streets, and Governor Rd.
Mornington Peninsula Shire provided two rubbish skips which Ms Hopkins said “were full within the first half hour”. They were due to be picked up yesterday.
“The amount of rubbish we collected was phenomenal,” Ms Hopkins said Monday.
“We found ovens, fridges, freezers, a full toilet, tyres everywhere, bikes, prams – even a full drum of hydrochloric acid.”
The group finished the day with a barbecue where Crib Point CFA captain David Jarratt was presented with a plaque commending the brigade’s efforts in the 18 January bushfires.
In a letter to Flinders MP Greg Hunt Ms Hopkins said she “was devastated by the fires and their effect on our beautiful town, flora and fauna.
“Walking along the Esplanade this evening, the fire has exposed a huge amount of rubbish from beer bottles to car wheels. I feel that it is important to remove this rubbish before the flora begins to rejuvenate and it becomes lost in dense scrub once more.”
Ms Hopkins said it was “important for the community to come together in times of need, and I think you would agree that this is one of those times”.
“The local community is keen to participate in this clean up and it is a great opportunity to come together and turn such a terrifying and traumatic event into a more positive one.”
The inaugural Crib Point Community Recovery Committee meeting was held at the Crib Point Community House, Thursday 28 January. Community leaders and representatives from a broad range of organisations gathered to discuss plans for the district’s recovery process.
“The purpose of our initial meeting is to listen to your thoughts on what the Crib Point community’s needs are now and into the future,” social planning and community development,” Mornington Peninsula Shire’s social planner Kathy Heffernan said.
“We would also like to hear your ideas for community activities that would provide opportunities for locals to come together to share experiences, support each other and, most of all, celebrate what makes this community great.”
The shire’s environment protection manager David Dobroszczyk said 19 community groups attended the meeting.
He said it would monitor the progress of the recovery and determine priorities; establish a community-based recovery plan; identify community needs and resource requirements; make recommendations, and provide advice to the shire council and other agencies.”
Mr Dobroszczyk said issues discussed included responding to the needs of children who have experienced stress and anxiety. He said local schools and the shire’s youth services team would work together to provide information for parents.
The meeting discussed ways of improving dissemination of ‘fire ready’ information to the community, including a more proactive approach, with “the CFA already making plans to contact community organisations to promote the message as well as attending community events”.
Mr Dobroszczyk said the group would help plan events to build “on the strong community spirit” in Crib Point – including Saturday’s clean-up day and fundraising film night.
More community events will be discussed at the next meeting in March.