Meet Garth Stewart – Bushfires Officer

Whitehorse News (Special Edition) - April 2020

Council’s Emergency Management and Project Officer Garth Stewart was deployed to the Emergency Management Victoria Recovery team during the recent bushfires.

Garth’s role involved reviewing data provided by response teams during their initial visits to bushfire impacted areas, to be used by the Red Cross, Department of Health and Human Services and the Insurance Council of Victoria to assist with determining cash grant eligibility.

Garth said this information was vital for grant allocation and secondary impact assessments which are often conducted by council officers.

“It is critical during emergencies of this size that other councils provide support to assist less well-resourced councils through a tough period.”

Councils, including Whitehorse, can be requested to provide support to another council impacted by an emergency event if that council does not have sufficient resources to provide adequate response and recovery activities. This may include staff resources, such as building surveyors, environmental health officers, planners, animal management officers, communications officers and IT support. 

Councils can also provide equipment, assist in developing recovery plans and provide support in Emergency Relief Centres. The level
of support required will vary, depending on the emergency and the level of community impact.