Esso and BHP Billiton donation boosts 2014 Gippsland Fires Appeal

Esso and BHP Billiton have confirmed a $15,000 joint venture contribution to the Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund (GERF) in support of the 2014 Gippsland Fires Appeal.

GERF has established a special Gippsland Fires Appeal to provide emergency relief and support to those who have lost homes, buildings, personal property, fencing and livestock.

John Mitchell, GERF President, said the Esso and BHP Billiton contribution is one of the first major corporate donations to the GERF Appeal.

“The $15,000 donation from Esso and BHP Billiton is a major boost to our Appeal and their ongoing support is greatly appreciated and valued. These funds will be quickly distributed to help families and communities recover from the devastating impact of the fires,” he said.

Esso and BHP Billiton have been long-term supporters of GERF and have contributed over $155,000 to recovery efforts following natural disasters in Gippsland, including the fires and floods in 2013, 2009 and 2007.

Esso Longford Plant’s Manager, Monte Olson, will hand over the donation at a formal launch event in Sale next week hosted by Wellington Shire Council Mayor, Cr Scott Rossetti, and attended by mayors from other affected municipalities, i.e. East Gippsland, Latrobe City and Baw Baw. [The event will be held at 10.00 am, Friday, 28 February 2014 in the Esso BHP Billiton Entertainment Centre in Sale – media are invited to attend].

John Mitchell urged individuals and organisations to donate generously to the Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund.

“We live in one of the most disaster-affected areas in Australia and because of that, we know how important it is to respond quickly to help people in their time of need.”

The Gippsland Fires Appeal will provide assistance to people living in Gippsland who suffer injury, loss or damage from the fires. GERF is a registered charitable organisation with donations being tax deductible and 100 percent of all donations used to directly help Gippsland residents impacted from the fires.

GERF has been active in the Gippsland Region since it was established in 1978 and has raised and disbursed more than $5M to the Gippsland community over the last 15 years.