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GIPPSLANDERS URGED TO REMAIN VIGILANT

January 22, 2013

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester is urging Gippsland residents to remain vigilant ahead of expected hot weather conditions which could increase fire activity in the region later this week.

Mr Chester has conducted a comprehensive tour of Gippsland communities already affected by the Aberfeldy-Donnelly’s bushfire, including a flight over the affected areas with Wellington Shire Mayor Scott Rossetti.

The bushfire has affected residents in Seaton, Glenmaggie, Coongulla, Licola, Dawson, Cowwarr and Heyfield. One person has died; 22 houses, 35 sheds and hundreds of kilometres of fencing have been destroyed; along with a significant number of stock losses.

Mr Chester said local residents should be on alert and keeping abreast of fire information being distributed by the Country Fire Authority (CFA) and official emergency broadcasters.

“Gippslanders must have their fire plans in place and take the opportunity to prepare their properties ahead of the anticipated hot, windy conditions,” Mr Chester said.

“There are information sessions being held in communities across the region to keep residents informed of anticipated fire activity.

“Wellington Shire Council is doing a great job to provide assistance to affected residents as well as those who have left their homes until the danger passes and the Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund (GERF) has been activated for those in need of emergency support.”

Mr Chester has praised the efforts of those fighting to protect lives and homes in Gippsland.

“Firefighters from throughout Victoria have been working for six days to control this blaze and their efforts are greatly appreciated by the entire community,” Mr Chester said.

The latest fire information can be found on the CFA website at www.cfa.vic.gov.au

ABC Gippsland (828AM and 100.7FM), Gold1242 (1242AM) and TRFM (99.5FM or 99.9FM) are official emergency broadcasters.

Wellington Shire Council’s relief line is 1300 137 218.

Anyone wishing to assist in the recovery effort should log on to the Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund website at www.relieffund.org.au

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