Although comprehensive national and state emergency management arrangements were in place, the damage, dislocation and trauma was far greater than any previous natural disaster and existing arrangements were not sufficient to meet community recovery needs.
In response, the Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority (VBRRA) was established to coordinate the massive whole-of-government rebuilding and recovery task.
VBRRA oversaw a range of programs and initiatives that were developed in response to the needs of impacted communities, as well as the implementation of the $193 million Rebuilding Together Plan.
Released by the Federal and Victorian Governments in October 2009, the Plan helped to guide the recovery and reconstruction process over the following two years.
Financed with $117 million from the two governments, $56 million from the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund (VBAF) and $20 million in donor contributions, the Plan delivered hundreds of programs and projects identified by communities as key priorities for their recovery.
In addition to the Plan, a number of key government departments provided funding to create new services and programs or enhance existing support services for bushfire-affected people.