THE Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund (GERF) will close its current Flood and Storm Appeal today (Friday, July 23) following a record distribution of funds.

GERF president Andy Tegart said the decision to close the appeal was based on confirmation most of the property impact assessments had been completed by municipal recovery managers in affected regions.

“We’ve distributed $627,000 in donated funds to 268 eligible families across five municipalities in Gippsland,” Mr Tegart said.

Six households in South Gippsland and Bass Coast have received funding.

Mr Tegart said the $627,000 distributed was a new record for a flood event supported by GERF since its inception in 1978.

“This record would not have been possible without the generosity of individuals, families, community groups and corporate donors in Gippsland and other parts of Victoria,” said Mr Tegart.

“This has been an unusually widespread event, with recipients spread across five of the Gippsland municipalities.

“We are extremely grateful to Gippslanders for their ongoing support for GERF activities and extend a huge thank you to them.

“Those who have been the recipients of emergency relief funding have also expressed their gratitude for financial assistance at a difficult time.”

Although the Flood and Storm appeal is closing, GERF accepts donations at any time and will continue to support those impacted by natural disaster. Donations can be made via Direct Transfer – BSB 083 932 A/c No. 740196862, PayPal at gerf.org.au, or at any at any branch of the NAB across Australia. All donations over $2 are tax deductible.

Distribution breakdown by location

* Bass Coast: 1 – $4500.

* Baw Baw: 12 – $20,000.

* Latrobe: 222 – $535,500.

* South Gippsland: 5 – $10,500.

* Wellington: 28 – $56,500.

* Total: 268 – $627,000.

The emergency relief funds distributed to residents, farmers and businesses will greatly assist in providing a helping hand to restart their journey of recovery.

The Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund was established in 1978 as a not-for-profit charity operated by volunteers for Gippsland communities affected by natural disaster events.