Storm response - a statement from Mayor Despi O'Connor

Published on 05 November 2021


Since last Friday’s storm that caused extensive damage across the Mornington Peninsula, our first priority has been an emergency response, followed by relief and recovery efforts.

There were thousands of calls on Friday and over the weekend to the SES and the Shire for support. Emergency services, utility companies, community members and our Shire staff moved quickly to support the emergency effort.

With almost three quarters of our staff living on the Peninsula, this was made extra challenging as most of our staff had no power themselves. As well, blocked roads and internet and phone dropouts also hampered our efforts.

Despite these challenges, I’m proud of the way we as a community have banded together to help each other.

Along with the SES, CFA, Victoria Police, Fire Rescue Victoria, Red Cross, the Victorian Council of Churches and other agencies, our Parks and Roadsides and Fire Management teams have been working with our subcontractors since Friday, responding to a huge volume of callouts.

We ask our residents to be patient as we deal with the large volume of requests for tree and property inspections. Works will be prioritised based on risk. Our Community Safety and Compliance Unit is also undertaking welfare checks across the Peninsula.

I’ve also heard of examples where community members with chain saws have helped with tree removal; local retailers such as the Red Hill Cellar and Pantry have provided coffee, water and firewood for affected residents; and neighbours have been checking in on neighbours to make sure everyone was ok. This is the great community spirit I’m so proud of.

And while we got a taste of Summer on Tuesday, which saw thousands of visitors hit the beaches and our coastal townships, this brought new challenges as we were still dealing with the massive clean-up effort and ongoing power outages in some areas.

There are many days and weeks of recovery ahead of us and we continue to assess the extent of the storm damage. The collective effort of everyone involved over the past week has filled me with confidence that we’ll get through this together.

We also have set up the following additional services to support our community:

Community Hubs offering showers and power and food waste disposal

  • Red Hill Cricket Club, Red Hill Recreation Reserve, 184 Red Hill Road, Red Hill  
  • Mt Eliza Cricket Club, 261 Wooralla Drive, Mt Eliza 
  • Dromana Cricket Club, Pier Street Dromana (cannot dispose of food waste here)

Opening hours  

12.00pm – 8.00pm   
(Hubs will remain open for these hours each day as long as necessary)

Water and ice

Water and ice will be available from the Red Hill CFA Station from today to Friday - until at least Monday.

Free community BBQ for storm impacted Red Hill residents

Last night - Thursday 4 November – we held a free community barbecue at Red Hill Recreation Reserve.

We will be holding this community barbeque again tonight - Friday 5 November from 5pm.

Green waste weekend

Free green waste this weekend from Saturday 6 to Monday 8 November and from Friday 3 to Sunday 5 December at resource recovery centres* (tips) to dispose of green waste debris from the storm.

Our customer services teams remain on call to help. Call 1300 850 600 or for further emergency information, visit

Our website will be updated regularly as new information comes to hand and our social media posts will provide daily updates.

It’s been quite a year, and what a week – I see sunnier times ahead.

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