Apprentices back in employment

MORE than three years after the devastating bushfires that destroyed homes and took lives, 25 households in the Latrobe City area are still in temporary housing, while the status of 31 households is still being determined.

According to a spokesperson from the Department of Planning and Community Development’s Fire Recovery Unit, of the 25 households, five had commenced rebuilding, with the rest still working through their rehousing plans.

The State Government recently completed a survey to track the progress of community rebuilding after the 2009 bushfires; the result of the survey showed 87 per cent of households that lost their primary place of residence had rebuilt, purchased a new property or were in the process of rebuilding.

Statewide, it was found the number of people who completed rebuilding their home had nearly doubled since the 2011 survey.

In the Latrobe City area, the spokesperson said 149 principal places of residence were destroyed and included in this year’s survey.

“The survey has determined the accommodation status of 118 households, while the status of a further 31 households are still being determined,” the spokesperson said.

“Of the 118 whose status is known, 98 have either rebuilt, purchased a new home, or commenced rebuilding.

“The fact that the status of 31 households is still being determined reflects the challenges of contacting people who may have changed address and/or phone number; (we are) continuing to seek alternative ways of contacting this group.”

The spokesperson said a small number of people had indicated they did not wish to participate in the survey, and their requests had been respected.

A “large majority” of the households in temporary accommodation had applied for the Further Housing Assistance Gift or the State Government’s Bushfire Buyback Scheme, the spokesperson said, adding the fire-affected households would rebuild at their own pace.

For any assistance with bushfire recovery, phone the Fire Recovery Unit on 1800 055 714 or email