CFA-truckLocal CFA units, including strike teams from Leongatha above, are on the fire grounds in Central and East Gippsland but there are other ways we can help.

THE Victorian Farmers Federation is calling for donations of emergency fodder supplies to support farmers affected by the Gippsland fires. Assessments in the fire-stricken region are ongoing, but the VFF believes between 160 and 180 properties have been affected by the 60,000 ha blaze.

“The level of stock losses is not yet clear but large amounts of pasture fodder and fencing have been destroyed the fire,” VFF president Peter Tuohey said.

There is a long standing arrangement between the VFF and the Department of Primary Industries to provide funding for emergency fodder relief. This arrangement is triggered when the scale of the event is beyond what a local community can manage. The funding provided by the DPI helps transport donated fodder to affected farmers to fill the emergency needs over the next four weeks. It is important that animals on burnt out land are able to be fed within a few days of the fire passing.

“The VFF is calling on landholders in the Gippsland region to donate fodder to assist those farmers affected by the fire by calling the VFF on 1300 882 833,” Mr Tuohey said.

As animals are stressed it is crucial the fodder is of good quality to ensure the best animal welfare outcomes. Any farmer seeking emergency fodder can also contact the VFF on 1300 882 833. The Victorian Government has contributed to the relief effort, yesterday approving the activation of emergency financial assistance to affected Gippsland residents. The funding, provided through the government Personal Hardship Assistance Program, enables Victorians with uninhabitable homes to apply for assistance to cover the cost of food, shelter, and clothing.

Victorians seeking emergency relief should contact their local council or visit www.dhs.vic.gov.au/emergency.

The VFF Disaster Relief Fund phone is: 1300 882 833.