CENTRAL Victorian councils have started providing hands-on assistance to local governments who have been affected by the bushfire crisis.
More than 50 councils across the state - including all councils in central Victoria - have signed up to the Municipal Association of Victoria's Human Resource Sharing Database.
The database helps councils connect with the Alpine, East Gippsland, and Towong councils, who need additional staff and equipment to manage the emergency fire situation.
The City of Greater Bendigo had six staff members help in the north-east of the state in a range of tasks, including recovery management, emergency resource officers, animal care, and general communication.
"Local governments have a significant role in emergency situations," City of Greater Bendigo resilient communities coordinator Frances Ford said.
"It's great to see the level of cooperation and support between councils. It's also a good learning opportunity for our staff, who can come back and know what to do if a similar situation happens here."
Two emergency management staff from the Macedon Ranges Shire were also sent to the Towong Shire to help with the relief efforts.
"We know how devastating bushfires can be to a region," Macedon Ranges Shire Acting Mayor Mandi Mees said.
"We want to help in whatever way we can to assist our fellow councils to help their communities following these terrible fires."
The Mount Alexander Shire also provided assistance to crews in Victoria's north-east.
Five council officers have been deployed to the fire grounds, with two sent to the Rural City of Wangaratta to help with animal management at the Wangaratta Saleyards.
Another three officers were deployed to the Towong Shire to help with Incident Control Centres in Wodonga and Tallangatta.
"If further support is requested through the resource sharing network, we will assess our capacity to deploy more officers to local government areas that need additional support with their relief and recovery efforts," Mount Alexander Shire chief executive Darren Fuzzard said.
Loddon Shire interim chief executive Allan Bawden said the shire had one staff member provide emergency management software training and assistance to East Gippsland.
"We at the Loddon Shire let our staff know that we were happy to release staff to assist," Mr Bawden said. "Any staff who were interested in doing secondment could register and then it was just a matching process.
"Councils really support each other in these circumstances. There is a huge response and many offers of help.
"So far we've only had the one request, but we've had lots of other staff offer to give relief. It's really up to the council that is impacted to identify what they need."
Both the Campaspe Shire and the Central Goldfields Shire said they were ready to provide assistance when needed.
"While some initial discussions have taken place with fire-affected councils, a formal request for assistance has not been submitted at this stage," Campaspe Shire's economic and community development general manager Keith Oberin said.
Central Goldfields acting chief executive Rebecca Stockfeld said a number of staff had registered to the MAV database.
"Council is supporting the training of staff at councils affected by the bushfires in emergency management recovery and responses systems," Ms Stockfield said.
"The type of support and assistance provided by Council will depend on the requests that come in from the affected councils."
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