THE Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund (GERF) has launched an appeal for financial donations to provide flood-affected Gippslanders with immediate support.
GERF spokesperson Barry Whitehead announced the appeal today following confirmed reports of multiple property evacuations and damage in the Latrobe and Wellington council areas.
While the full extent of the damage is not yet known, councils have activated emergency relief plans and already know of people in need of immediate help.
Mr Whitehead said: “It is likely that many Gippsland residents will be affected by flood waters.”
Funds raised by GERF are distributed quickly to impacted Gippslanders for discretionary use while insurance and government claims are being processed, helping give access to emergency resources like food and temporary accommodation.
Mr Whitehead said the Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund, which has been helping locals impacted by natural disaster since 1978, had always received strong support from community members and businesses, both from within the region and further abroad.
“Unfortunately, Gippslanders are all too familiar with the devastating impacts fire, flood and other natural disasters can have on our region.
“That said, we’ve always been able to rely on the goodwill of locals and friends from other communities to dig deep and give what they can during these trying times.
“So, we’re asking local community members and corporate citizens, neighbours and friends from other communities to think about the plight of flood-affected Gippsland communities and give whatever they can,” Mr Whitehead said.
Donations can be made via direct transfer – BSB 083 932 A/c No. 740196862, Paypal at www.gerf.org.au, or at any NAB branch. All donations over $2 are tax-deductible.
Residents affected by the floods should contact their local Council Municipal Recovery Manager, who will assess the applicant’s situation and make a referral to GERF where applicable. Mr Whitehead said any Gippslander whose principal place of residence is affected by floodwater, along with farmers experiencing loss of fencing, fodder or livestock may be eligible for payment.
The Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund was established in 1978 and is operated by local volunteers for Gippsland communities affected by natural disaster events.
Further information is available at gerf.org.au. Mr Whitehead can be contacted on 0418 594 175.