BlazeAid boost

RECOVERY efforts from the Aberfeldy-Donnelly’s bushfire affected areas was given a significant boost last week with the donation of fence posts from Plasmar Industries valued at $40,000.

BlazeAid Maffra base camp co-ordinator Angus Guild said Plasmar Industries had donated the fire proof posts which have a 100 year life span.

“1400 to 1500 posts all up have been donated by Plasmar Industries to BlazeAid,” he said.

“Bedggood’s Transport transported them from Somerton free of charge, and the posts will be stored at Murray Goulburn ready to be distributed.

“Heyfield Bakery have also donated 200 fence posts and 20 pine strainer posts.”

Wellington Shire Council is hosting BlazeAid,with a base camp established in Maffra.

The presence of BlazeAid will enable fire affected farmers to have their fences rapidly rebuilt in areas including Seaton, Glenmaggie and Coongulla.

Working alongside the affected farmers, BlazeAid volunteers help to rebuild fences which have been damaged or destroyed.

BlazeAid started after the Black Saturday fires when a group of friends decided to help Kilmore East farmer and BlazeAid founder Kevin Butler, who had lost five kilometres of fencing.

It is a volunteer-based organisation which works with farmers and families in rural Australia after natural disasters such as fires and floods.

“We want to try and walk away putting smiles on faces,” Mr Guild said.

“The people out at Seaton are a bit shell shocked and there is a good feeling about the whole job.

“We want to get farms back up and viable.”

Mr Guild said BlazeAid had received strong support from the local community.

“BlazeAid runs on donations; all tools are donated and everyone is a volunteer,” he said.

Wellington Shire mayor Scott Rossetti said BlazeAid’s presence would help ensure the rapid rebuilding of the agricultural sector.

“Fences are a critical first step in seeing the land returning to its productive capacity again,” he said.

“The rebuilding effort is also an essential part of bolstering the farming families’ peace of mind, confidence and financial security into the future.”

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer should visit the BlazeAid website to join the Maffra base camp.

In the meantime, people wanting to support the BlazeAid effort can donate fencing equipment, tools or much-needed funds via the website.

Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund is also accepting cash donations.