October 28th, 2022From the Mayor Cr Tim Drylie
Hepburn Shire Council Mayor Cr Tim Drylie, who represents Creswick Ward, the most affected area, said the community, council and agencies had come together in an “amazing effort” in response to the October floods.
“Extreme weather events or natural disasters are integrally messy and stressful affairs and it takes
a lot of effort to try to get it right. And it doesn’t always happen the way we think it’s going to
“But there was improvisation on our part in terms of getting the sandbagging happening and we
had local businesses chip in and buy a couple of loads of sand which was fantastic and
there were heaps of people volunteering to fill bags – taking days off work.
“Then there were the community groups, like the football club, coming onboard
en masse to put sandbags in place for vulnerable residents and then our local CFA
coming to the party and pumping water when required for many hours to try to
avoid flooding along the stretch of houses that border the creek.”
Cr Drylie said in terms of council operations there were many staff working both
in the background and on the front line, working to assess roads, putting out signage
and opening up relief centres in Creswick, “and just monitoring things as they
“Obviously it was quite a volatile situation and a changing environment, so we
were working to make sure the community was safe. Communications were going
out as required and it was just a phenomenal effort. I think we avoided the worst of
it and some of that was due to chance and some of it was due to good planning and
Cr Drylie said with the recent flooding, the January storms in Creswick and the
Trentham and wider district storms in June last year, people’s resilience was being
“These really compound the situation in terms of some of the psychological
trauma and stress that is associated with these events and it is really unfortunate in
many ways that this event has happened and that we are looking at probably the next
six weeks being predicted for ongoing weather events.
“As a community we need to adapt and be better prepared for these events. They
are becoming more extreme and more frequent so there is a response where both the
community and council and agencies are aware of what is required to be more ready. I
think that in our community we saw this time a preparedness to get on the ground.”
Cr Drylie said there was no question the recent weather events were climate
change related and that was widely accepted.
“It is probably catching up with us a lot sooner than we expected in many ways
and we need to get on the front foot a bit more with it both in terms of adapting to
current circumstances but also getting on with reducing emissions and moving to a
renewables economy and a circular economy.”
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*Beyond Blue provides 24/7 advice and support on 1300 22 4636.
Words: Donna Kelly