10 May 2016…Minister for the Environment the Hon. Greg Hunt met participants from the Peel Harvey Catchment Council’s After the Fires Workshop and viewed a newly released YouTube video of the two day event during a recent visit to Mandurah.

The Minister met Helen and Mick Muir who said they had no idea where to start in the rebuild of their rural property after the Waroona bushfires devastated much of their landholdings.  The couple feature in the video, which details the journey of the workshop participants and presenters.

The Peel-Harvey Catchment Council responded to the needs of landholders after the fires, securing key presenters and offering the free property workshop to landholders impacted by the fires at Waroona.  The project was supported by the PHCC through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.

Presenters included Jeff Pow, who rebuilt his South West WA farming enterprise after it was destroyed by a 2013 fire, and Darren Doherty of Regrarians Ltd who has world-wide experience in the profitable and regenerative retrofit of broad acre landscapes.

Helen Muir, who attended the workshop with her husband Mick, said they approached the workshop as a remaking of their farm.

“I think the whole workshop was extremely stimulating and we have both got new ideas and its given us a lot of hope to start afresh.  We’ve come out of it very positive,” she said.

Mick Muir said the workshop contained some wonderful suggestions and ideas.

“You see things through different eyes. Not go back to how things were before, but look to how make an improvement on the capital that was there. Like using the same waterholes, but changing or realigning the fences, or how to put in new pastures and things like that.   It was very, very good,” he said.

Peel-Harvey Catchment Council chairman Andy Gulliver said Minister Hunt viewed the workshop and the video as a valuable tool in the recovery process.   “He said the video allowed him to understand more about the post recovery workshop and how it had benefited the participants.  A follow-up workshop will be taking place in November, and all participants at the initial workshop have the opportunity for further one-on-one support,” he said.

To view the After the Fires Workshop video on YouTube, search ‘After the Fires Workshop’ or click here.

To receive further information on this subject contact admin@peel-harvey.org.au

ENDS

Media Contact:  Jane O’Malley, Chief Executive Officer, Peel-Harvey Catchment Council, Jane.Omalley@peel-harvey.org.au, (08) 6369 8800

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We acknowledge the Noongar people as Traditional Custodians of this land and pay our respects to all Elders past and present