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04 December 2017

Safety is our first Code Red priority - Mayor

At its meeting on 28 November, Indigo Shire Council adopted a Code Red Days Policy outlining actions to be taken in the event of Code Red warnings.

"Code Red days are very and very serious, and denote the worst possible conditions for the outbreak of bushfires and grass fires," the Mayor, Cr Jenny O'Connor, said.

"They were introduced as a result of the Bushfire Royal Commission following the catastrophic 2009 bushfires across Victoria. None have been declared in Indigo Shire to date, but the danger is very real and likely to increase with climate change."

Cr O'Connor said the new Council policy was designed to minimise risk to residents, reduce danger to Council staff, and identify those who needed help to activate their emergency plans.

"We looked long and hard at the best options for our people's safety, especially recognising that on days of extreme danger many of our staff and volunteers will have urgent priorities closer to their homes and families," she said.

"There might be some resulting inconvenience, but Council has obviously chosen to put people's lives above all else."

Services Closed

  • Swimming pools: Beechworth, Chiltern, Rutherglen, Tangambalanga, Yackandandah
  • Transfer stations: Beechworth and Rutherglen
  • Library outreach services
  • Customer Service at Rutherglen
  • Burke Museum and Historic Precinct Beechworth

Adjusted service delivery

  • Frozen meals will be delivered where possible to Meals on Wheels clients the day prior as per arrangements for weekends. First contact people and carers will be contacted where appropriate, to discuss alternative arrangements for cancelled services.
  • Outdoor work will be restricted to essential works that potentially pose a risk to public safety: no mowing or non-essential works will be undertaken.

To be rescheduled

  • All non-essential inspections, including building, environmental health inspections, local laws, infrastructure
  • Advisory Committee meetings
  • Ordinary or Special meetings of Council
  • Community engagement sessions, on-site meetings and events involving Council staff, volunteers or Councillors.
  • Maternal and Child Health services, unless the immediate health and wellbeing of a child will be compromised. Home visits, Council and co-located venue appointments will be re-scheduled.
  • Road and tree works that do not pose an imminent risk.

Services open subject to staff availability

  • Beechworth and Yackandandah Customer Service Centres and libraries
  • Visitor Information Centres
  • Call centres

Fire danger rating scale

What does it mean?

Code Red indicates the worst conditions for a bush or grass fire. Homes are not designed or constructed to withstand fires in these conditions. The safest place to be is away from high risk bushfire areas.

"Leaving high risk bushfire areas the night before or early in the day is your safest option. Do not wait and see," Cr O'Connor said.

"Know what you will do when a Code Red day is declared: when you will leave; where you will go; how you will get there; when you will return; and what your options are if you cannot leave."



For further information:
Contact Cr Jenny O'Connor
Phone 0417 126 409