Media ReleaseFire & Flood Resilience06 Mar 2020

Fire Fund recovery pods making a difference on Kangaroo Island

The Minderoo Foundation Fire Fund has delivered the first deployment of recovery pods to recipients on Kangaroo Island.

A Fire Fund recovery pod on Kangaroo Island. Photo Credit: Fire Fund Team.

Bushire affected farmers on Kangaroo Island are among the first to benefit from a shipment of innovative Minderoo Foundation Fire Fund “recovery pods”.

The recovery pods were developed to provide a practical base camp, for work and temporary accommodation, while people work towards longer term rebuilding. Each recovery pod costs approximately $25,000 to $30,000 to manufacture based on the current specifications.

Seven recovery pods have been delivered to the island so far, with eight more to arrive in coming weeks. Minderoo Foundation’s Fire Fund commissioned the pods from South Australian manufacturer Australian Portable Camps, based at Monarto.

The Fire Fund team is appreciative of the support from the SA Housing Authority, which stepped in to meet the costs of moving the recovery pods by road and sea from Monarto across to the island.

The first recipients of the recovery pods will provide feedback on the initial design and fitout to improve future iterations of the recovery solution.

The self-contained units provide people with access to the basic facilities required to keep them on their land in the short-term. This was a key request from community members when Minderoo Foundation visited Kangaroo Island in the days after the bushfire disaster.

Minderoo Foundation CEO Andrew Hagger said the recovery pods were an innovative recovery approach addressing one of the most vital needs of fire affected communities.

“This initial deployment of recovery pods to Kangaroo Island meets an immediate and basic need for people impacted by the bushfires.”

“The pods could form an invaluable long-term asset as part of a quick response to communities affected by future disasters,” Mr Hagger said.

“We are working with Federal and State governments and disaster recovery agencies, as well as corporate and other charitable organisations, to secure sustainable funding solutions for further pod deployments.”

The 7.2m x 2.4m units are self-contained, equipped with a 2,300-litre water tank and 5 KVA generator, plus 15-amp external plug-and-play mains capability. Internally they have a toilet, shower and small open kitchen with a two-burner stove.

Australian Portable Camps director Frank Martino said his team was excited to be working with the Minderoo Foundation Fire Fund.

“We’re really proud to be manufacturing the recovery pods. It feels good to be working as part of the recovery effort after these devastating fires.”

“The pods are an innovative solution to the temporary-accommodation need facing those who’ve lost their home and workspace. We’re looking forward to hearing from the first recipients after they’ve settled in.”

The recovery pods are not designed for long-term accommodation, they are intended to provide a solution in rural and remote areas devastated by the recent bushfires as the rebuilding process is ongoing.

The pods have two functionality options for use as a workstation, or for short-term accommodation with bunk beds included. Externally, power points and a fold up shade cover make the unit a well-equipped base camp, while other vital recovery and rebuilding work goes on nearby.

Minderoo Foundation
by Minderoo Foundation

Established by Andrew and Nicola Forrest in 2001, we are a modern philanthropic organisation seeking to break down barriers, innovate and drive positive, lasting change. Minderoo Foundation is proudly Australian, with key initiatives spanning from ocean research and ending slavery, to collaboration in cancer and community projects.

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