Bushfire recovery centre to stay open

Members of the Community Recovery Committee outside Tonimbuk Hall, in a pre-Covid photo.

By Danielle Kutchel

Tonimbuk’s Recovery Centre, set up in the wake of the March 2019 bushfires, will remain open with no set closing date.

The announcement came on Friday 26 June, with Cardinia Shire Council announcing the centre would remain open indefinitely.

Previously, it had been set to close at the end of June.

The current opening hours are Monday 10am-3pm and Friday 10am-3pm.

Tony Fitzgerald, president of the Bunyip Complex Fires Community Recovery Committee, said the community was grateful for the council’s support in keeping the centre open for residents.

He said the centre is a good resource for those who are still struggling, well over a year after the devastation.

Covid-19 has seen the centre subject to social distancing measures, but it had remained a hub for residents.

“We are still in recovery and it’s really wonderful that council is sticking by us,” Mr Fitzgerald said.

The popular weekly community dinners are still on hold during the pandemic, which has been a double blow to a community that’s desperate for connection, with many residents still feeling the effects of the fires on their mental health.

Meanwhile, the rebuild continues as residents navigate complex BAL rating legislation and insurance issues, over a year on from the fires.

The Recovery Centre is located at 1900 Gembrook-Tonimbuk Road, Tonimbuk. Contact the centre on 5629 8571 or recovery@cardinia.vic.gov.au.


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