2014 Gippsland Fires Appeal boosted by $50,000 donation

Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund (GERF) 2014 Gippsland Fires Appeal funding has been boosted by a $50,000 contribution by GDF SUEZ Australia Energy.

GERF Deputy President, Lynda Bertoli, said the contribution was most welcomed and was a major boost to the current appeal.

“This significant donation by GDF SUEZ Australian Energy will boost our current appeal which was launched in February following the many fires across the region, and people affected as a consequence.

“Over $160,000 has been disbursed to Gippslanders affected by fires this year providing emergency relief and support to those who have lost homes, buildings, personal property, fencing and livestock in separate fires at Driffield, Westbury, Jack River and East Gippsland.

“GDF SUEZ Australian Energy through their Latrobe Valley assets, Hazelwood and Loy Yang B, have been long-term supporters of GERF having contributed over $230,000 in recovery efforts following natural disasters in Gippsland, including fires in 2013 and 2009 and we thank them for their ongoing support,” she said.

GDF SUEZ Hazelwood, People, Culture and Environment Director, Steve Harkins handed over the donation to GERF Deputy Presidents Lynda Bertoli and Doug Caulfield on Tuesday, where he acknowledged the work GERF has carried out supporting the Gippsland community in their time of need having disbursed more than $5 million over the past 15 years.

Lynda Bertoli thanked those individuals and organisations who have generously donated to the appeal to date with the total of donations exceeding $70,000.

“We have all seen over the years the effects of fire and floods on the people of Gippsland, and how important it is to respond quickly and to help people in their time of need. The generosity of Gippslanders makes it possible for GERF to provide relief and assistance.”

GERF is a registered charitable organization with donations being tax deductible and 100 per cent of all donations used to directly help Gippsland residents impacted from the fires.