Sarsfield Community Association

15 October 2021

Sarsfield Community Snippets ~ Number 5

Woodfired pizzas and picnics on the oval, a weekend Recreation Reserve working bee, yoga, and social cuppas have highlighted the Sarsfield Community events over the past week. Spring is in the air with daylight savings and sunny days interspersed with rain and high winds. Gardens are flourishing, wildflowers are popping up and the countryside looks lush and green.

This fortnights Snippets report on an upcoming Filipino Feast, the Summer Bushfire Grant Application, the Lucas Mill project and a cuppa and chat with Sarsfield Community Association President Simon Hof.

Filipino Feast at the Sarsfield Hall Friday 29th October

Link to book Filipino Feast

Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grant Program

For many months Sarsfield residents have been encouraged to give feedback, complete surveys and take part in group and individual chats and interviews. The purpose of this extensive community consultation has been to map out our collective vision for a “future Sarsfield”.

Many common themes have come through which have formed the basis of the three plans, which were finalized recently. Independent consultants were engaged to draw the information together and The Sarsfield 2030 paper, the Recreation Hall and Reserve Master Plan and the River and Nature Reserve Plan were drafted and formalised.

Our belief was to tiptoe through this process allowing time for full consultation, modification and feedback on the draft documents.

Last week a “momentous” button was pressed to apply to the National Black Summer Bushfires Grant Program seeking funding to enact some of the high priority aspects of our community plans.

The Application by the Sarsfield Recreation Reserve Committee of Management (SRRCoM) in partnership with the Sarsfield Community Association (SCA) is the result of significant time and energy expended by these groups and the extensive input from our Sarsfield community.

Sarsfield Hall Concept Plan Image: Tom Hardy Design

The project will provide the Sarsfield community with a modern, fit-for-purpose facility which will form the hub of a variety of recovery and community activities. The hall precinct will provide a new community centre with flexible meeting and activity spaces, a large kitchen, and an all-abilities toilet and shower.

Other aspects of the proposal will include landscaped areas, upgrades of the tennis court area providing for additional recreational play, a network of pedestrian, cycling and bush trails, an improved sports oval and cricket nets, and the beautification of the picnic area with seating, drink fountains and an open fire facility all adjacent to a new, awesome playground. Upgrades of the existing public toilets, formalising vehicle entry, parking with lighting and clear signage will further add to the reserve.

This project will provide wonderful facilities for our Sarsfield community, but more importantly guide us towards Sarsfield 2030 –“Sarsfield Standing Strong and Standing Together”.

3D Concept Designs Sarsfield Hall Images: Tom Hardy Design

Whilst there have been many funding submissions by various other organisations, we know that the funding bucket is not bottomless! We all have our fingers crossed as we eagerly await the final decision.

The Lucas Mill Project.

One of the many conundrums faced by residents after the Black Summer Bushfires was the abundance of burnt and fallen trees, along with the loss of sheds, cattle yards, and fences – all casualties of the fire. Whilst neatly stacked firewood was often the immediate outcome, much of the fallen burnt hardwood was too good to use as firewood. Some brainstorming by Sarsfield residents Ingrid Biram and her friend Bill Higgins seeded the idea of milling the fallen timber to replace sheds, fences and yards.

Bernie Farqhuar and Glen Schaeche, with the encouragement of Bushfire Recovery Hub co-ordinator Neil Smith, enlisted the support of Rotary and Lions Clubs to support and finance the concept.

Four Rotary Clubs - Sorrento, Canterbury, Melbourne and Dromana paid for the first Lucas Mill to kickstart the project and Lions funded a purpose-built trailer and a 4WD vehicle to mobilise the mill around East Gippsland properties. The Mill project has gone from strength to strength with a second Lucas Mill and team of operators on the ground at present.

Property owners provide their logs to the Mill operators who transform them into slabs, fence posts, rails and palings, free of charge. There are currently dozens of property owners affected by the Black Summer bushfires registered to be part of the Mill project. This has been an amazing collaborative project between the service organisations, the local community and the property owners. This positive story has led to other fire affected areas across the state and the country wanting to replicate the project in their own zones.

The Lucas Mill Project is certainly a winner!

Lucas Mill Image: ABC Gippsland, Peter Somerville

Simon Hof holding the Sarsfield Ashes trophy Image: Durelle Esnouf

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Sarsfield Community Association · 10 School Road · Sarsfield, Vic 3875 · Australia

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