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The clean-up of properties delivered by Hazell Bros provided substantial environmental benefits by removing hazardous materials from the fire-affected areas, as well as enabling residents to commence rehabilitation of their private properties.
The Tasmanian Bushfire Appeal provided further assistance to private property owners through the Revegetation and Garden Restoration Program, which is being led by the Dunalley Tasman Neighbourhood House. The program aims to assist households in the community to begin the re-establishment of gardens affected by the fires by providing advice and information, as well as hands-on assistance in some circumstances.
In 2013, the program conducted 38 working bees at 30 properties and facilitated 17 gardening-related courses, with approximately 160 participants attending. The most popular courses have been fruit tree maintenance and post fire care, fruit tree grafting, native plant propagation, the trip to the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, and Spring Garden Design. A further seven gardening courses were scheduled across the summer months.
Assistance was also provided to primary producers dealing with environmental issues, either caused or worsened by the fires, through an initiative led by NRM South and delivered as part of the Winter Assistance Package. An allocation of $80,000 was made to re-establish pasture and shelter belts, repair internal fencing and protect remnant native vegetation. This built on an earlier initiative led by NRM South which used Australian Government funding, making a total of 24 properties funded for these works across the fire-affected areas. Funding was also provided to community and Landcare groups to conduct a variety of activities including weed mapping, field days and weed eradication.
Finally, in recognition of the fact that weed problems are likely to emerge in future months and years, $40 000 has been reserved for expenditure on weed control for the spring of 2014. This allocation will be managed by DPIPWE in collaboration with relevant partners, including the local governments.