Upper hand: Firefighters conduct controlled burns west of Corryong on 7 January. Photo: JASON EDWARDS

City responds to bushfire crisis

January 9, 2020 BY

WITH the ongoing fire threat in East Gippsland and the north-east of the state, the City of Ballarat made two key interventions last week.

On Friday the municipality gave a $20,000 donation to the relief appeal and reiterated a previous offer to assist local government areas affected by the emergency.

“It is important we work with Emergency Management Victoria in a targeted approach to assist the East Gippsland councils affected, and we have also offered plant and equipment and key emergency response personnel,” said deputy-mayor Cr Belinda Coates.

The decision to make the cash donation came on top of an announcement that all three Summer Sundays concert events would also become fundraiser events for the bushfire appeal.

Cr Coates also praised recent communitywide relief initiatives.

“We acknowledge the efforts locally in providing immediate material aid such as water, toiletries, sanitary products and baby formula,” she said. “We understand that these items are of high value currently to those impacted families.

“Further items may be required. However, donations of money is still the preferred method of aid in the immediate aftermath of these events.”

The reiterated offer to provide to provide plant and equipment to affected local government areas followed one made by acting City of Ballarat CEO Neville Ivey a few days earlier.

With the local bushfire risk still high, Cr Coates said sending equipment and personnel to the east of Victoria was a balancing act.

“[W]e must also balance personnel requirements for any local fire threat in order to respond appropriately as well if needed in our region,” she said.

Cash donations to the Red Cross’ Disaster Relief and Recovery fund can be made via fundraise.redcross.org.au/drr.