Regional communities receive rooftop solar
A year on from last summer’s devastating fires, Victoria’s bushfire-prone communities are emerging more resilient than ever, with a little help from RACV.
As bushfires raged across the country last summer, the town of Tallangatta found itself at the centre of the fight as its Rowen Park sporting precinct became the staging ground for emergency services battling fires across north-east Victoria.
“For 28 days every fire appliance and truck that was up here fighting those Upper Murray fires came back to Tallangatta every day and changed shifts,” recalls Tallangatta Sports Centre project co-ordinator Peter Haysey. “The fireys got fed, we had them sleeping in tents all around, and this is where the fire was managed.
“We were very very blessed that we weren’t directly in line but as the closest town we were trying to provide as much emergency as well as physical support that we could. Corryong had no power, no food, no water, no service and no communications so Tallangatta became the main town for getting what was needed.”
It’s a role the town was only too pleased to fill, but as the coronavirus pandemic followed bushfire, the Rowen Park precinct is only now gearing up to host sport again. The oval’s underground irrigation system was damaged by heavy fire vehicles and has been temporarily resurfaced. And the building housing its changerooms, kitchen and function room now boasts a roof-ful of shiny new solar panels, as well as a battery underneath, courtesy of RACV.
Along with a similar solar installation in Omeo, it’s part of RACV’s Solar in the Regions program, a million-dollar project to install solar and battery systems, free of charge, on community buildings in 28 bushfire-prone Victorian towns.