NARIEL VALLEY COMMUNITY RECOVERY COMMITTEE
The best mobile phone black spot in the Upper Murray.
Nariel Valley follows Nariel Creek through 35km of scenic farmland from the Murray Valley Highway to Stacey’s Bridge. Its 90 residents include farming families and also a concentrated population on smaller properties to the south near Stacey’s Bridge.
Over 25km of the valley has no mobile phone coverage.
During the Black Summer bushfires, 19 dwellings between the highway and the Stacey’s Bridge area were damaged or destroyed. Eleven of the destroyed houses were primary residences. No homes have yet been rebuilt.
Farming infrastructure was also extensively damaged.
Since the fires, damaging flash floods have caused severe erosion on farmland and recurring degradation to water quality in Nariel Creek.
Nariel Folk Festival is held annually and the community has a skilled CFA brigade. However, the lack of shops, sporting groups, halls, meeting places and public facilities make it difficult for community members to connect.
Nariel Valley CRC is working with local residents and landowners to achieve positive long-lasting outcomes following the Black Summer bushfires. We aim to enhance connectedness and help the community feel safe and valued.
- Christina Aston (Chair)
- Courtney Simpson (Deputy Chair)
- Tamara Whitsed (Communications)
- Belinda Attree
- Braden Coy
- Rob Fraser
- Malcolm Simpson
- Sue Simpson
- Melissa Pulo
- Monthly barbecues, including a well-attended Christmas tree party.
- Regular newsletters which enhance community connectedness, promote CRC events and share information about bushfire recovery.
- Conducted survey and engaged consultants to workshop and consolidate our recovery priorities.
- Purchased UHF radios for about 30 residents to improve communication in future emergencies. This was funded by the Rebuild Upper Murray Go-Fund-Me page and Towong Shire community grant funds.
- Designated UHF channel 19 for local communication during emergencies.
- Worked with Upper Murray CRC, CFA and Red Cross to conduct fire preparedness training for valley residents. This was followed by a curry meal prepared by Sikh Volunteers Australia.
Our recovery priorities
- Creek bank revegetation;
- Improved creek health;
- Restore fish population.
- Reliable communication infrastructure to all residents;
- Access to UHF with designated emergency channel for the valley;
- Satellite phones for use in emergencies;
- Help locals install solar panels for when mains power fails.
Fire & Emergency Management:
- Create local phone tree;
- Firefighting infrastructure including quick fill stations and slip ons;
- Funded fire hoses for properties;
- Advocate for fire preparation including appropriate burn-offs and clearing.
- We need a place to meet;
- More community events;
- Beautify recycle shed area and repair doors.
Tourism & Economic Development:
- More bike paths and walking trails;
- More seating at picnic stops and other areas along valley (and post and rail for horses);
- Improvement works at Stacey’s Bridge camping area;
- Wildflower reserve on Nariel Gap Road;
- Create a Nariel Valley produce market/swap;
- Support landholders to establish small farm enterprises and small businesses.
- Widening of Carmody Cutting;
- Install mirror at the T-intersection to Murray Valley Highway;
- Road signage asking people to slow down.
Properties Still Needing Help:
- Look at bulk buying specialist support needed for people going through the planning process;
- Repair or replace fencing destroyed by fires;
- Arrange clean-up assistance for burnt trees in paddocks.