WHEN we’ve had droughts, bushfires and other emergencies down this way, among the first to get on board and help are our neighbours in Gippsland.
They’ve come up with emergency loads of hay, they’ve sent their fire fighters over here in our hour of need and they’ve supplied other emergency services personnel as required.
And likewise, we’ve been there to help them too.
Not so long ago, when Leongatha footballer Beau Vernon had his on-field accident, one of the first community groups to kick off the fundraising effort was the Morwell Tigers Football Netball Club.
They’ll be pleased to hear that Beau has since gone on to be an inspiration to us all and last weekend, he married his beautiful partner Lucy in a ceremony to remember.
So, when our neighbours at Morwell hit hard times, as they have in recent weeks, with smoke from the Hazelwood coal fire making living conditions there impossible for many, we’d like to do what we can to help.
Destination Gippsland, the peak Gippsland tourism body based in Korumburra, has taken on the role of coordinating the offer of respite accommodation in other parts of Gippsland for those who’d like a break away from the smoke.
So far not many people have taken up this offer but it’s the thought that counts.
Our local municipalities have also been on standby to provide emergency management support and there would no doubt be members of various emergency services groups who’ve also offered their help.
But there’s a lot still to do, if reports of the amount of coal dust, smoke and dirt in people’s houses, in businesses and around the streets is anything to go by.
We’re told that the State Government is going to stump up money for the clean-up but there are bound to be gaps and that’s where the Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund (GERF) comes in.
GERF is constantly raising funds for emergency needs in Gippsland and again they’ve stepped in to help Morwell families with immediate support to tide them over.
If you can’t think of anything else to do and would like to support our friends and neighbours in Morwell, one way you can help is by donating to the Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund.
Donations can also be made at any branch of the National Australia Bank. BSB: 083-932, Account Number: 048299080 or via post to: Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund, PO Box 508, Traralgon Vic 3844.