Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund (GERF) is providing assistance to help farmers across Gippsland who have been seriously affected by the prolonged period of low rainfall and drought conditions.
GERF President, John Mitchell, said “Eastern Victoria has experienced serious rainfall deficiencies since April 2017 and farmers are struggling to feed their stock and, in some cases, their families. We believe this is an event that should receive support from GERF and we’re doing so by providing $7,000 of fuel vouchers and a $25,000 cash donation that will be distributed through the farming community’s Gippsland Farmer Relief Inc.”
Mr Mitchell expressed his thanks to national petroleum company, Caltex, and Traralgon-based restaurant, Coffee Corner and Wine Down Bar for their support in providing $4,500 fuel vouchers to GERF for the assistance package. “The generosity of these companies during these difficult times for our Gippsland farming community is terrific and very much appreciated. While the terrible images of the drought affecting Queensland and New South Wales shows the scale of the problem confronting regional areas, we want to support our local farmers who are also doing it tough.”
This view is strongly supported by CEO of Gippsland Farmer Relief Inc, Melissa Ferguson, who welcomed the assistance package provided by GERF. “Over the past 30 months, we have been providing practical support to more than 50 farming families, growing to 80 in 2018, in the form of food parcels, clothing and fuel vouchers. All our funding comes from the Gippsland community and this assistance package means we’ll be able to deliver more to more families.”
John Mitchell, representing GERF, and Mary Lynch, representing Coffee Corner and Wine Down Bar, as well as Caltex, presented the fuel vouchers and cheque to Melissa Ferguson and Jan Stirling of Gippsland Farmer Relief Inc on Wednesday, 22 August 2018 at Traralgon’s Coffee Corner, 1 Church Street. Pictured above is Melissa Ferguson, CEO of Gippsland Farmer Relief Inc accepting assistance package from GERF’s John Mitchell and Doug Caulfield.