The Business Council of Australia’s Community Rebuilding Initiative already has business people on the ground in some fire affected communities and Mansfield Mayor, Cr Marg Attley OAM, said she can see opportunities for mentoring and funding locally through the initiative.
With 80 Mayors and other representatives from fire affected communities across three states, Cr Attley on Wednesday attended a special roundtable discussion in Canberra to learn about the initiative.
“It was very worthwhile. The focus is on economic recovery and acknowledges that each community will have different requests for assistance based on the impact felt by each community. It’s about rebuilding communities by building businesses,” Cr Attley said.
“The Initiative has been specifically designed to help local businesses get back on their feet, provide jobs, re-establish key industries such as tourism and agriculture and rebuild community facilities,” she said.
“Although not directly impacted by the fires, the detrimental effect on businesses in the Mansfield Shire, particularly our tourism industry, cannot be underestimated.
“I represented Mansfield to provided information on our community and business requirements to support economic recovery.
The Business Council of Australia comprises CEOs of Australia’s biggest companies. The Community Rebuilding Initiative will run for five years, working closely with the National Bushfire Recovery Agency to co-ordinate support from the business community.
“Examples given at the meeting included how an asbestos removal business was already helping communities – they didn’t wait to be asked,” Cr Attley said.
“After the initial urgent work is done, we will be able to access support for groups like the Mansfield and District Business Association. It represents a great opportunity for us to tap into the expertise of these big businesses. Doing so will contribute to ensuring Mansfield continues to be a prosperous place where community spirit is strong,” she said.
Another opportunity discussed was for bigger councils to support smaller councils through ‘sister’ relationships.
“In Victoria that is already happening; we paired with Moreland City in 2004 and they got in touch when the bushfires hit.
“I will now explore how this relationship might have mutual benefits outside times of disaster too.”