Heritage Victoria expresses sympathy and support for the many communities affected by the Summer 2019/20 bushfires. We acknowledge the work of Forest Fire Management Victoria and other emergency services in protecting lives and communities.

Bushfire Recovery Program - Heritage Update October 2020

The Bushfire Recovery Heritage Victoria team has been busy working away at home-office based tasks while site visits have been limited due to COVID-19 restrictions. The team has been writing up results of previous site visits, and working to develop  fire-preparedness strategies in relation to heritage places ahead of the next fire season. We are also contributing to other programs across the Bushfire Recovery landscape.

The heritage program has to-date completed twelve site-audits, including:

  • nine  site assessments of impacted Victorian Heritage Register (VHR) places
  • one inspection of an archaeological site included on the Heritage Inventory (HI)
  • two site visits to places not yet protected by heritage legislation

The Bushfire Recovery Heritage program has so far identified 23 heritage places that warrant investigation, either due to direct damage from the fires, potential-damage from rehab works, or because the site-type has become increasingly rare after the summer fire season. 

In the last week of September, the program was able to visit Towong Shire in compliance with COVID restrictions. An outdoor meeting was held and the team was able to meet representatives of several community organisations in the area, as well as DELWP regional staff. It was great to meet the community and we hope to hold several other sessions in the coming months. Please get in touch if you would like to know more by emailing heritage.victoria@delwp.vic.gov.au.

We are pleased to confirm that the Bushfire Recovery Heritage Program has now been extended to run until 30th June 2021.

Timber and Truss Bridge H1214The site of Genoa’s ‘Timber Truss and Concrete Bridge’ VHR H1214, June 2020, with two remaining bases of the concrete piers.

ForestMurrindal River January 2020. Photo by Christopher Lee (FFMV)

Background to the Bushfire Recovery Heritage Program

The 2019-20 bushfires across North East and East Gippsland captured the local government areas of Alpine, Baw Baw, Cardinia, Towong, Wodonga and East Gippsland.  The ‘Black Summer’ fires impacted 16 VHR places, 88 HI places and many more heritage places of significance to the local community.

The Heritage Bushfire Recovery Program is a joint initiative of Heritage Victoria and Bushfire Recovery Victoria. Bushfire Recovery Victoria's website details programs and initiatives supported by the Victorian Government in the wake of the 2019-20 bushfires.

Heritage Victoria has developed a fact sheet for the Bushfire Recovery Program - Heritage (DOCX, 2.0 MB), also available as a PDF (PDF, 517.8 KB), which includes information about the Victorian Heritage Register, including how to search the VHR for your property and contact details for the Bushfire Recovery Program – Heritage team.

Where possible Heritage Victoria will undertake some assessments of prioritised impacted places within the local heritage overlay. 

The assessment of Aboriginal cultural heritage is managed through a separate initiative.

If you are the owner of a State listed heritage property affected by the fires, please contact us for support on (03) 7022 6359 or email heritage.victoria@delwp.vic.gov.au

If you are the owner of a locally listed heritage property, your local council is the best contact. Please contact us if you need support in obtaining local contacts or for general heritage advice.

Stringers Knob Fire Spotting TowerBete Bolong North. Photo by Christopher Anderson (FFMV)

Financial Assistance

Applications for the current round of Living Heritage Program (LHP) grants have now closed. The next round will commence in early 2021.

Heritage Victoria’s LHP provides grants for “at risk” places on the VHR that are owned or managed by specific groups and have public access. If you have a State heritage listed place in an area impacted by the 2019-20 bushfires, and you meet the program criteria, you may qualify for a grant from between $20,000 to $200,000. The LHP Guidelines and Frequently Asked Questions provide further information.

Page last updated: 09/10/20