The Victorian Government has thanked Victorians for their generosity and kindness during the ongoing bushfires, and encouraged those willing to help to do so via the recommended channels.
Acting Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Walsh said many people across Victoria had been looking for ways they can volunteer to help or donate money.
“People wishing to donate money to support the affected communities can do so through the Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund (GERF) website at www.relieffund.org.au,” Mr Walsh said.
“There are currently no calls for donations of goods such as clothing and furniture.”
Mr Walsh said people wanting to volunteer their time or skills to assist with the bushfire clean up and recovery could sign up to the Victoria Emergency Volunteer Register at www.volunteer.vic.gov.au.
“Volunteers are encouraged to register their details via this central portal, rather than by contacting local councils directly - at this stage it is important to stay away from the affected areas so emergency services can continue to respond effectively to the immediate threat,” he said.
Mr Walsh said volunteers should not feel discouraged if they were not asked to help immediately.
“Recovery from a bushfire like this can be a long and complex process and it may take some time for councils to identify specific ways that registered volunteers can assist,” Mr Walsh said.
“In the weeks and months to come, as the crucial recovery and rebuild gets underway, the contribution of volunteers with special professional and trade-related skills and experience could be invaluable.”
Mr Walsh said the Coalition Government was also working with the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) in organising a fodder drive to source and deliver donated fodder to stock owners in urgent need of supplies.
“Landholders in the Gippsland region who can donate fodder or fire-affected farmers in need of emergency fodder can contact the VFF [on 1300 882 833],” Mr Walsh said.
• People wishing to donate money can do so via the Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund:
(1) at any branch of the National Australia Bank, BSB: 083 932, Account Number: 04829 9080;
(2) via post to Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund, PO Box 508, TRARALGON,VIC, AUSTRALIA, 3844; or
(3) via PayPal by following the link on the GERF website – www.relieffund.org.au