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People’s Republic of Mallacoota Final Episode (10 May on ABC TV)

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People's Republic of Mallacoota

That’s a Lot of Sausage Sizzles: 18 months after the Black Summer bushfires ravaged Mallacoota, only eleven of the 123 houses destroyed have been rebuilt, and the local recovery team elected to rebuild the town are struggling to gain traction in the community. Is Mallacoota’s once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build back better slipping through its fingers?

While the citizens of Mallacoota weigh up the detailed recovery plan that will determine the town’s future, many residents are learning that replacing burnt houses is only part of the recovery process. Artist Don Ashby and his sons are slowly transforming their new makeshift house into a home; Larry Gray and Mary O’Malley are doing everything they can to fortify their new home against future fires.

After a long consultation process and bitter wrangling, the residents of Mallacoota reach a consensus and give their overwhelming support to the community’s recovery plan. It’s a victory for the citizen-led experiment in self-governance and means locals will determine where millions of dollars of disaster funding will be spent.

After a year on the job, the 12 bushfire survivors who have gamely led the town’s recovery are punch-drunk and exhausted. It’s time to elect a new team capable of turning the town’s recovery plan into action. But when only half a dozen volunteers’ express interest in continuing the recovery work, the bold experiment in self-determination embarked upon in the People’s Republic of Mallacoota is in danger of falling over.

Airdate: Tuesday 10 May 2022 at 8.00pm on ABC TV.

Season 1 Episode 6