Farmers and relief fund supporting property owners after Westbury fire
Baw Baw News By William PJ Kulich // 17:50, Sunday 26 January 2014
THE GIPPSLAND Emergency Relief Fund and a number of farmers will provide financial assistance and hay to the owners of five properties damaged in the Westbury bushfire last week.
Baw Baw Shire Director of Growth and Economic Development Matthew Cripps told The Warragul Citizen fencing and hay were destroyed during the fire and some repair works will be volunteer-driven.
“Damage from the fire includes internal and external fencing. Fence repairs are being coordinated by volunteers,” Mr Cripps said.
“One property lost approximately 150 bales of hay and a horse breeding property lost approximately 80 per cent of its pasture. DEPI and council are working with affected property owners to assist in the recovery of the damaged environment, which includes both bush and grazing paddocks.”
Mr Cripps said other farmers had banded together to offer support and affected property owners had been provided with referrals for assistance with personal support.
“Council is also working with farmers in Labertouche who were affected by the Bunyip fires, who have expressed an interest in assisting Westbury property owners by organising a mini feed drive to ensure feed is available on fire-affected properties until paddocks recover,” Mr Cripps said.
“Pasture renovation of damaged paddocks will be coordinated through DEPI; the CFA will rehabilitate pasture where fire breaks were put in to combat the fire.
“This work is recommended during wet weather due to the ground being very dry; undertaking this work now would result in soil being blown off site.”
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