Cleaning up after bushfires

Cleaning up after bushfires

8 April 2009

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Australia — Four Mount Isa residents started work yesterday at the site of the Victorian bushfires.

Dave Geary, Pastor Keith Christie, Wayne Ardrey and Waisale Vualiku from the Christian Outreach Centre left Mount Isa on Monday to join a core group of Global Care volunteers in Kinglake.

“There’s still a massive need for assistance and we just want to do our bit to help out,” coordinator Pastor Christie said.

Speaking from the site of the bushfires yesterday he said he was shocked by how devastated the area was.

“I was expecting to see devastation but nothing to this extent. What we’ve seen on the news is nothing compared to what we’re seeing now,” he said.

“There’s rubble, rubbish, people living in makeshift houses and picking up the pieces of their lives. It’s a very eerie feeling.”

Pastor Christie said the volunteers would stay until they were no longer needed.

“These guys are prepared to stay down there as long as necessary; cutting firewood, building fences and just listening – whatever they can.”

After Easter, the Christian Outreach Centre hoped to send more people to Victoria to help, if it can raise the funds.

Last weekend the centre had a garage sale fundraiser which raised enough to send the first four volunteers to Victoria.

Seeing the men off at the airport, Mayor John Molony pledged a council donation of $500 towards airfares to send down more volunteers. It will be voted on at today’s council meeting.

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