Disaster resilience: preparedness and recovery

About 'Build it Back Green'

Read the Green Cross Australia Senate Submission
Senate Environment and Communications Committee Inquiry into Recent Trends in and Preparedness for Extreme Weather Events



Black Saturday bushfires moved Australians to unprecedented levels of generosity and support. In early 2011 the recovery is two years underway, with under half of residential properties rebuilt. Ongoing community support is vital.


Communities impacted by the bushfire have deep environmental values - this is why they chose to live in a marvelous natural setting. Green Cross is supporting bushfire affected communities to reflect these values by making rebuilding and community recovery choices that embrace resilience and sustainability.


On Friday 23rd April, 2010, Victorian Premier John Brumby and Environment Minister Gavin Jennings announced that they shared our sustainable futures vision for communities affected by Black Saturday. Green Cross Australia is a proud recipient of a $177,000 grant from the Victorian Government Sustainability Fund to build a comprehensive sustainable recovery web portal to support bushfire affected communities


We look forward to working with the Ballieu Government to progress the exciting green recovery underway across bushfire affected communities.


Build it Back Green website released with global recognition


We are proud to announce the recently released www.builditbackgreen.org which has already won a prestigious global award for Best Environment Website from a New York City based panel of digital strategy leaders, the Interactive Media Council.


Green Building Guide


The core green building tool in www.builditbackgreen.org is an interactive online tour of a specially designed bushfire resilient home. Victorians can roam through gardens, kitchens, bathrooms and lounge rooms to access practical information, vendor lists, Victorian and Federal Government sustainability websites and comprehensive rebates and green finance options with a click of the finger. Explore the interactive bushfire resilient green home.


Support from Green Building Leaders


Green Building Council of Australia is an anchor partner in this project and we look forward to working with GBCA to launch the website and engage with green Victorian architects, builders and corporate volunteers over 2011 and 2012 as the bushfire recovery progresses. We are particularly interested in stimulating the market for modular, affordable bushfire homes that integrate resilience and sustainability for the large peri-urban low income rental market that is struggling to find a home in the recovery.


Romilly Madew CEO of the Green Building Council of Australia says: "GBCA will target all its members and affiliated industries to assist in the volunteer program and to catalyse innovative solutions to affordable bushfire eco-resilience. The aim of this program is to provide individuals and companies the opportunity to assist on the ground, within the bushfire regions."


CSIRO scientists have offered excellent materials and practical advice videos for this website. "ECO-RESILIENCE," says CSIRO Climate Adaption Flagship Director Andrew Ash, "is all about smart climate change adaptation, and will create exciting 21st century intellectual property."


Our vision and targets


BIBG partners hope to be a source of green jobs, advice, leadership, practical tools and capacity to assist Victorian communities to transition and emerge as the cohesive, healthy, thriving and, now resilient, communities they once were. 
It is our aim that a minimum of 400 households will be supported to increase their eco-resilience with innovative hazard reducing materials, technologies and practices, while reducing their greenhouse emissions by 10 tonnes per annum.


We also believe that the BIBG initiative will give Black Saturday affected communities an opportunity to inspire and galvanise the rest of Victoria.


Media out of the BIBG New Orleans project has made our efforts there visible right across the US, and through the BIBG website, information and tools will be available for all Victorians who are inspired to renovate and build new homes using cutting edge green building approaches.

"After Hurricane Katrina flattened New Orleans exactly four years ago, on Aug. 29, 2005, the city emerged as an inadvertent symbol of global warming, the first American victim of climate change. More than 200,000 homes were destroyed during the Category 5 hurricane.

But in the years since, the Crescent City has quietly embraced a new and unexpected role as a laboratory for green building. Sustainable-development groups like the international nonprofit Global Green [Green Cross Australia's US affiliate] as well as earth-friendly celebrities like Brad Pitt descended on New Orleans, determined not just to build the city back but to build it back green.

"It's going to come back," says Matt Petersen, the president of Global Green USA. "But we want to build it better than it was before."


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