Hepburn Springs to have Neighbourhood Safer Place this summer

HEPBURN residents finally have a designated place to meet should a bushfire threaten the town.

The Hepburn Recreation Reserve was yesterday announced as the Neighbourhood Safer Place – Place of Last resort for the town, established as part of the recommendations that came out of the 2009 Bushfire Royal Commission.

Chosen for its accessibility and sparse vegetation, the recreation reserve was purpose built by the state government at a cost of $287,000.

Parliamentary secretary for Regional Development Damian Drum said the site was chosen after an “exhaustive review”.

After Black Saturday, Hepburn was identified as one of the 52 townships at high risk of bushfires. Suitable safer places were difficult to find in 23 of those towns, including Hepburn.

“NSPs are designed as places of last resort in the event of all other plans failing and our focus is to encourage communities to plan ahead so they understand the risks they face, and their safest options in the event of a fire.”

Mr Drum said the new location would complement the five other NSPs located within Hepburn Shire at Clunes, Creswick, Daylesford, Glenlyon and Trentham.