Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Fire relief appeal bales out farmers

The Bale Out Fodder Appeal has delivered more than 35 tonnes of hay to help victims of the Wunghnu Complex fire feed stock.

DARREN LINTON February 28, 2014 5:23am

Recovery effort: Workers helping to fix fences destroyed in the Wunghnu Complex fire.

The fire burned through more than 9000ha and farmer Peter Simpson, who received 13 large round bales the Uniting Church donated, said the help was appreciated.

The fire destroyed about 500 bales on his Labuan Rd dairy and cropping property.

‘‘That kept them going for a little while, every little bit helps,’’ he said.

Mr Simpson said a church group from Kyabram also helped out for a day clearing damaged fencing.

‘‘We’re still cleaning up, still picking up trees and pulling out stumps,’’ he said.

The Bale Out Fodder Appeal closes today, but organiser Don Butler said money already banked would be used to continue to provide emergency feed where it was needed.

To date, 72 large bales have been distributed in the fire-affected areas.

News readers helped out the appeal on Friday last week, with 10¢ from every newspaper copy sold going to help the fire recovery.

‘‘The response has just blown me away, I’ve never done anything like this in my life,’’ Mr Butler said.

‘‘The number of donations from the public has been amazing.’’

Victorian Farmers Federation has also been overwhelmed with the generosity shown to fire-affected communities across the state.

‘‘I’d like to publicly thank the hundreds of farmers, organisations and community groups who’ve banded together to donate semi loads of fodder to fire-affected farmers,’’ federation president Peter Tuohey said.

‘‘People have offered to donate more than 1600 tonnes of fodder, far exceeding our expectations.’’

The federation and Lions Club volunteers had co-ordinated delivery of 700 tonnes to about 89 properties in the Morwell, Yarram, Buchan, Bonang, Kilmore-Wallan and Wunghnu regions.

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