A community hub that residents can visit for bushfire recovery support and assistance will be open again this week at Millmerran Downs.

The Wylahra Grove Progress Association Hall will be open as a drop-in centre this Friday 3 November from 10am until 4pm with the following service providers in attendance:

  • Services Australia Mobile team
  • Community Recovery Team
  • Lifeline
  • Red Cross
  • Rotary
  • Millmerran Community Support
  • Toowoomba Regional Council

Fire-impacted residents in the localities of Millmerran Woods, Millmerran Downs, Cypress Gardens, Wattle Ridge, Forest Ridge, Condamine Farms, The Pines and Captains Mountain are encouraged to attend.

Toowoomba Region Mayor and Chair of the Local Disaster Management Group Geoff McDonald said the bushfire recovery around Millmerran Downs and Cypress Gardens would continue with assistance for residents to get back on their feet following the recent fires.

“TRC is focussing its efforts in helping people via responding to immediate need through ‘make-safe’, reinstatement of potable water supply and other support arrangements following these devastating fires.

“Residents can again drop-in to the Wylahra Grove Hall on Friday to access a range of services to help them recover.

“Right now, we need people to be particularly aware that QFES may have used blaze tamer and chemical retardant to protect structures and bring the fires under control and if your property was in the direct fire zone, it is likely these chemicals have been used,” Mayor McDonald said.

Information for residents on cleaning up their properties after fire retardants have been used is available here - QFES Water additives page and here - https://www.blazetamer.com/faqs  

Other health precautions to consider when returning home following a bushfire can be found here - https://www.redcross.org.au/emergencies/coping-after-a-crisis/returning-home-after-a-bushfire/#.

“Council will also assist fire-impacted residents by providing water credits for use at Council’s local standpipe as well as further resources for cleaning down roofs and gutters to ensure tanks for drinking water aren’t compromised by the fire retardant chemicals.

“We would advise residents in these areas to not allow any rainwater to flow into tanks before your roof and/or gutters are cleaned, this may mean you need to disconnect your tank for the time being, particularly with the forecast potential for much-needed rain this weekend,” Mayor McDonald said.

Council is also considering how best to support impacted residents to clear their properties of fire-impacted items and debris.

“Rubbish and waste removal of possessions destroyed by fire and/or smoke can be disposed of at the Millmerran Waste Management Facility, Owens Scrub Road, Millmerran with access via Foxwood Road,” Mayor McDonald said.

“Fire-impacted residents can utilise the Millmerran Waste Management Facility free of charge to dispose of possessions destroyed by fire and/or smoke,” Mayor McDonald said.

Opening hours are available here -  https://www.tr.qld.gov.au/environment-water-waste/waste-recycling/waste-facilities-rubbish-tips/13314-hours-locations

“The hub at the Wylahra Grove Hall will also again help people apply for immediate personal hardship assistance through the Australian Government at Services Australia and the State Government’s Disaster Recovery Arrangements as well as access other services to assist with mental health,” Mayor McDonald said.

Residents can apply for personal hardship funding here - Natural disaster - Services Australia and here - https://www.qld.gov.au/community/disasters-emergencies and access support services here - https://www.mycommunitydirectory.com.au/

“I again encourage all residents, no matter where you live, to be prepared should a disaster event impact your area. There are many resources available to help with preparedness and to build resilience in the face of disaster.

“The Message from QFES is clear; early identification of fires by calling 000 will help their efforts during this bushfire season,” Mayor McDonald said.

QFES has a range of information on bushfire preparedness here -https://www.qfes.qld.gov.au/prepare/bushfires

A local fire ban remains in place for the Toowoomba Region as well as most of Southern Queensland with 64 of Queensland’s 77 local government areas now under a local fire ban.

Mayor McDonald also again encouraged those people who needed community support and assistance, or wanting to donate to those in need, to register through the Givit web site.

“Anyone looking to donate to those in need following these devastating fires can do so through the Givit web site which also allows people who need assistance to register and be matched up with people looking to donate.

“Givit has been the go-to organisation across many natural disasters since the 2011 floods and I encourage the community to visit their web site so donations can be coordinated appropriately.

“Please do not bring donations to any location that has not been authorised by relevant authorities,” Mayor McDonald said.

Residents should continue to monitor the Toowoomba Region Disaster Dashboard at http://disaster.tr.qld.gov.au/

For current bushfires and warnings, visit https://www.qfes.qld.gov.au/Current-Incidents

The Wylahra Grove Progress Association Hall is located at 72 Primrose Drive, Millmerran Downs.