GERF has been and is a wholly volunteer operation. The Volunteer Committee includes local people with roles in emergency response and recovery from state government, local government, private industry and community representatives. It is a unique regionally based Fund in Victoria with well established procedures in handling public appeals for emergencies and their disbursements. Arising from the 1977/78 bushfires in the Gippsland area was the need to provide emergency assistance to Gippsland people.
A public meeting was called at the Armadale Reception Centre Sale and the Gippsland Bushfire Relief Fund was formed on the 6th December 1978. The meeting identified a strong need for a fund to provide immediate financial assistance to victims in a bushfire situation.
The fund focussed on personal losses such as people’s immediate requirements for food, clothing, utensils, furniture, bedding, children’s educational needs, etc. as distinct from capital items covered by insurance or Government grants.
The Fund has provided millions of dollars in assistance and expanded its role to cover bushfires, floods and storms in Gippsland. This included a combined $835,000 for floods that hit Gippsland in 1990, 1993 and 1998. The Fund provided $150,000 in assistance for the East Gippsland Bushfires in 2002/2003 and 2003/2004.
The Fund is a registered charitable organisation (Registered number A0020241A) making all donations tax deductible. All donations are returned to the community and no costs are deducted.
The Fund provides relief and assistance to persons residing in the Gippsland municipalities of Bass Coast, South Gippsland, Latrobe, Baw Baw, Wellington and East Gippsland who suffer injury, loss or damage from natural disasters.
GERF continues to seek donations throughout the year so that in the event of a future disaster, the Fund can quickly get funds out into the community. The Fund is a registered charitable organisation (registered number A0020241A) making all donations tax deductible. All donations are returned to the community and no costs are deducted for administration. Donations to the Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund can be made in three ways:
- At any branch of the National Australia Bank, BSB: 083 932, Account Number: 74 019 6862
- Via post to Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund, PO Box 508, TRARALGON, VIC, AUSTRALIA, 3844
- Via PayPal by following the link on the GERF website at www.relieffund.org.au
For further information about the Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund or to discuss running a fundraising event in support of the fire appeal, contact –
- Postal Address: PO Box 508, TRARALGON 3844
- Website: www.relieffund.org.au
- Deputy President: 0488 018 425
- Secretary: 0488 018 426 Duty Officer: 0488 018 417
- Requests for assistance from GERF are managed via Municipal Emergency Recovery Officers. Impacted property owners should contact their local government authority.
Affected Council contact numbers are listed below.
- East Gippsland Shire Council: (03) 5153 9500
- Wellington Shire Council: 1300 137 218 (Recovery Office line)
- Latrobe City Council: 1300 367 700
- Baw Baw Shire Council: 03 5624 2411