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The communities' perception of the recovery forms a critical element of the Review. Community members were invited to provide feedback on the things they thought stood out as working well and activities they believe could have been done differently. They were also asked to provide further suggestions of things that could be included to help in future recovery programs. Community feedback was sought during November 2013 using:
The community feedback form is displayed below.
"What are three things that stand out as working really well in the recovery process after the fires, and why?"
Without prompting, almost one in three (30%) respondents mentioned "community spirit – assistance and support" as an aspect that had worked well in the recovery process. Other positive aspects mentioned frequently were "information available/service hubs" (16%), Aurora/ Hydro staff - restoring power" (14%), "donated food/ household goods etc" and "volunteers and service providers (eg Police, SES etc.)" (13% each).
Respondents from Lake Repulse were far more likely than other fire-affected areas to have mentioned "Blaze Aid/ fencing restoration" (40%).
"What are three things that could have been done better in the recovery process after the fires, and how?"
Overall, almost one half (48%) of respondents could not think of any aspects of the bushfire recovery process that could have been done better, giving an answer of either "nothing" (37%) or "unsure" (10%).
The most common response when asked what could have been done better centred around "improved communication channels and information" (12%). A further 6% identified a need to reduce or "decrease regulation and planning with rebuilding" to allow people to recover in a more timely manner.
"What can you suggest should be included to help in future recovery programs in Tasmania?"
More than one quarter (28%) of all respondents could not offer any suggested improvements to enhance future recovery programs, giving an answer of either "nothing" (20%) or "unsure" (8%).
Similarly to the previous question, the most frequent suggestion identified a need for "clear communication channels and better mobile coverage", with almost one in five respondents (18%) mentioning this issue.
Other suggestions included "greater personal contact and regular follow up with affected residents" (8%), as well as "central hub/ information centre", "increased back-burning for prevention" and "more social workers and counselling available" (all mentioned by 7% of respondents).