8 February 2009, Community Centre, Wallan, Victoria
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Our worst fears were met.
As you know, we lost lives, we lost numerous properties.
But today has been a day in which we needed to consolidate. Yesterday we got belted. Today we held our ground. And over the next couple of days we need claw ourselves back.
As fire agencies, and as a community together.
The next couple of days, we just need to hold our ground, and understand that a lot of people have been going for 24 hours without rest.
As many of you have.
We just need to take the big deep breath, and just be sure that nothing jumps out, and causes us to chase it again.
We’ve also got the army moving in today.
And the army are going to provide us with some grunt, with some bulldozers, and our tractors.
Okay, so again, this is all about not losing more ground.
What you need to do as a group is to continue to do what you’re doing.
It’s to bond together, and to support your communities, because as you are supporting your communities, you are supporting every one of us.
You know, I gotta tell you, I have not, as coordinator in control of this, had anyone have an angry word. I’ve had a couple of frustrated words, but the community has bonded together, and we are now going to try to provide you with as much information as possible.
We are going to start moving and opening up communities.
Understand the picture that is out there.
And there are some sensitivities and areas which we need to protect.
Do you understand what I’m talking about here? Without going into .. yeah okay.
So there are areas we will move you into, and we’ll talk about where they are ... but there are some pockets which we will keep closed down.
This is gonna be a process that is gonna last ... probably a couple of weeks, as the strategy unfolds.