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Shipping containers to assist Black Saturday bushfire victims

15 September 2009 |Media centre

Residents affected by the devastating events of Black Saturday will be given a boost by the provision of lockable shipping containers through the adopt-a-container program coordinated by Yarra Glen Community Fire Relief and Eastern Access Community Health.

A grant of $110,000 from the Community Enterprise Foundation™ will see the supply of more than 160 rent-free 20 foot shipping containers for any bushfire survivor from the 2009 fires.

“The containers will provide a much needed place for these residents who have nothing left to store what little possessions they have along with the tools that are required for the re-building and re-vegetation of their land. This is a tangible way to assist these people in their recovery; it is impractical for them to be continually transporting their tools & resources to and from their blocks each time.”

“The importance of secure storage was clearly identified in last week’s Yarra Glen Community Planning Session attended by representatives from the Bendigo Bank’s Community Bank® network.”  Chairman of the Woori Yallock Community Bank® Branch, Rick Shaw, confirmed getting organised and identifying those projects that are most important to assisting in recovery and reconstruction following the fires, made it easier for those organisations who had taken donations from the general public to get in and help.

“The Community Bank® branches in the fire affected areas are pleased to be able to assist with such a positive program for the people of the fire affected areas to help them re-build,” Mr Shaw said.

“It is thanks to the generosity of ten of thousands of donors who contributed to the bank’s Bushfire Appeal and the recent co-ordination and organisation of the fire affected communities that Community Bank® companies are able to work with the bank’s Community Enterprise Foundation™ to support projects that will make a real difference.

Head coordinator of Yarra Glen Community Fire Relief, Peter Montgomery, said the adopt-a-container project addresses one of the single biggest problems facing survivors besides immediately re-building whole lives.

“The containers will provide much needed on-site security and safety, and is essential for those individuals and families re-building their lives clearly demonstrating their intention to rebuild and providing tangible evidence that the community is now moving forward,” Mr Montgomery said.

This project has been six months in the making, with Yarra Glen Community Fire Relief taking ownership of the project and building a workable solution in the last month.

“Yarra Glen Community Fire Relief is grateful to the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s Community Enterprise Foundation™ and the local Community Bank® branches for their support of this important project,” Mr Montgomery said.

Anyone wishing to provide further support to the adopt-a-container project can donate at any branch of the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank or online at www.bendigobank.com.au/foundation.

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