Latrobe City Council has been providing practical support to assist East Gippsland Shire during the bushfire emergency. On Friday evening that support was escalated by the opening of an Emergency Relief Centre at the Morwell Recreation Reserve.
Due to the evolving nature of the emergency within East Gippsland, the Emergency Relief Centre has been relocated to Kernot Hall Morwell to accommodate the influx of expected evacuees following centres in Bairnsdale and Sale reaching capacity.
The Emergency Relief Centre at Kernot Hall, Princes Drive and Monash Way, Morwell will be operational from 9 am today, Sunday 5 January, for those people who have left East Gippsland.
At this stage the centre is not open to residents of Latrobe City due to there being no active emergency situation in the municipality.
Latrobe City Council Mayor, Cr Dan Clancey said that he had spoken to many who had been touched by the events in East Gippsland.
“Many in our community have stories to tell of family and friends who have been affected by these disastrous fires and some have their own stories having been caught up while holidaying in the region,” Mayor Clancey said.
“To be able to play our small part in this deepening national crisis, by helping out those evacuees who have arrived to us tired having endured a traumatic situation is the least that we can do. By offering them a place for respite, a cup of tea and an ear to listen, it goes a long way in reassuring these people that they are cared for.”
Latrobe City has taken many queries relating to offers of assistance, from volunteering to accommodation, food and hard goods.
“During times of crisis many in the community ask how they can help. One of the immediate thoughts is to donate clothing, hard goods and food. Experience tells us that donation of money is much more effective and provides more flexibility than the donation of material items or pre-loved goods,” Mayor Clancey said.
“We thank residents of Latrobe City for their generosity, but we need to remind people that Council is unable to accept any donations monetary, food or donations of furniture or hard goods on behalf of anyone.”
Interest from the community in volunteering has also been expressed. Currently Latrobe City Council is not seeking any volunteers. Should people wish to register their interest in volunteering, if and when the need arises during the recovery phase they can do so by visiting the Volunteer’s Victoria website – www.volunteer.vic.gov.au
Latrobe City residents are reminded that due to the current emergency situation across Victoria, the Vic Emergency app and website along with local radio including ABC Gippsland, 100.70 FM is the best way to receive up to date advice warnings about incidents and emergencies in our region.