As the roads open up and farmers can return to their homes and businesses, we are coming to realise the true impact of the fires that have engulfed East Gippsland and the Upper Murray.
After any major disaster, we reflect on how the event transpired and make changes to our resources, systems and practices to ensure the devastation we have experienced is not repeated.
While visiting Corryong and Bairnsdale, the message I have received from locals is loud and clear - we need improved fire mitigation and improved firefighting resources.
There is no doubt that government has failed to reduce the fuel loads in order to prevent the intensity and severity of these widespread fires.
The Victorian state government must review their regulations surrounding the management of native vegetation to facilitate good, sustainable bush management.
There is no question that Victorian firefighters are under-resourced and are battling the blazes with ageing assets.
It is critical that the CFA is supplied with tankers that are fit for purpose and can access the required terrain to have a real chance of extinguishing flames.
The VFF will be calling on the state and federal governments to fund the rotation of ageing assets and infrastructure out of service.
The Victorian state government has announced a new agency, Bushfire Recovery Victoria, will be established to oversee the state's recovery process.
It is imperative that industry groups, farmers and locals have genuine input into this process.
We have seen all too many times that when bureaucrats drive an agenda it can miss the mark, this is an opportunity for locals to shape the future of their homes, businesses and communities.