East Gippsland bushfire community response and recovery is progressing from food, water and clothing donations to include urgent financial support.
The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath said while the bushfire emergency was far from over, communities were beginning to count the significant cost of the East Gippsland bushfires.
“The Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund (GERF) is coordinating the local appeal for financial donations to aid the region’s recovery,” said Ms Bath.
“Currently with an estimated 1600 properties impacted, the target required to help locals is estimated at $5 million.
“In addition to property loss, there is an urgent need for farm fencing to assist landholders and individual primary producers.
“To date $750,000 has been donated to GERF, with $284,000 in financial support already distributed to victims.
“The Gippsland community has been incredibly generous donating their time, and essentials such as food and clothing now as we look at regional recovery, there is an urgent need for financial donations so bushfire victims can commence rebuilding and get back on their feet.”
With multiple financial appeals Australia wide calling for donations, Ms Bath is encouraging financial support, big or small to be directed to GERF.
GERF is Gippsland’s local emergency relief support agency and every dollar donated goes directly back to support victims living in our region,” said Ms Bath.
“Established almost 30 years ago, GERF is a local registered charity established solely to support Gippslanders during periods of disaster.
“It is run solely by volunteers, which enables each financial donation to be returned directly to our local community.
“A donation to GERF means your donation provides immediate financial assistance to locals when they urgently need it”.
Ms Bath said Gippslanders are determined, resilient, strong and supportive.
“The commitment of our community to help rebuild the lives of fire victims has been both outstanding and overwhelming and is to be congratulated.
“Now we are asking those who can to make a financial donation, big or small to please consider providing to our local charity GERF so East Gippsland families and businesses can get back on their feet,” said Ms Bath.
To donate to Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund – www.gerf.org.au/fundraising