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TAS Country : January 17th 2013
Friday, January 18, 2013 Tasmanian Country 3 News FARMERS' FIRE RELIEF HOTLINE 1800 154 111 Farmers miss out on aid ROGER HANSON Call to extend relief grants UPDATE: Station officer Phil Douglas speaks to Ellendale residents about the Repulse Dam fire. FIRE relief money is now flowing to southern farmers, but those in the Central Highlands, Wynyard and Circular Head regions have so far missed out. Meanwhile, the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association is appealing for urgent donations of grain to keep fire-ravaged stock alive around the state. The TFGA said the disaster relief announced by the federal and Tasmanian governments was recognition of the challenges being faced by producers. The category C grants of up to $25,000, which do not compensate for income losses and are not intended to replace insurance, can be used to help with cleaning up, debris removal, disposal of dead livestock and steps to ensure continuing production and viability. The grants are available to producers in the Sorell, Tasman and Glamorgan-Spring Bay local government areas. However, the TFGA is seeking to extend the range of those grants. ''We want that (the grants) extended to the Central Highlands, Waratah- Wynyard and Circular Head areas, where there have also been fires,'' TFGA's chief executive Jan Davis said. ''These funds are vital to getting our farmers back on their feet. ''On farms, time is of the essence and these grants will give farmers the confidence to start on urgent works without having to worry about how they will be funded,'' she said. While weather conditions eased this week, fires at Interlaken Rd in the Steepes and in the Upper Derwent Valley are still being fought by fire- fighters. The bushfire in the Lake Repulse area, which started from an unatten- ded campfire on January 3, has already destroyed more than 11,500ha. Tasmania Fire Service district officer Gerald Crawford told a packed community meeting at Ellendale this week it was vital to be vigilant. Mr Crawford said the Lake Repulse blaze was burning in terrain that had not seen a fire since the 1930s and the fuel load in the area was therefore massive and extremely dangerous. The TFS urged property owners to be sure their bushfire plan was in place, that a nominated safe place was known and that everyone knew what to do in a fire if it was too late to leave. The TFGA is co-ordinating the emergency response services to sup- port farmers in bushfire-affected areas. It has a database of the farmers and their needs, and a matching database of offers of assistance and donations. Collection depots, including Sorell and the Royal Agricultural Society of Tasmania (RAST) Showgrounds at Glenorchy, have enough hay to be distributed for the time being, with supplies of grain now being needed. ''People have been fantastic in their response,'' Ms Davis said. ''However, grain is the next item on the agenda. Farmers are looking for grain to feed to their animals.'' Donations can be made through the TFGA's hotline on 1800 154 111 or phone 6332 1800. The RAST is distributing packs of animal food and other goods to veterin- ary practices around Hobart. Chief executive Scott Gadd said the packs all contain donated items and had been developed for the different needs of various animals. The RAST has received thousands of donations from individual Tasmanians --- from bales of hay to pet food. Another major collection point has been set up in the north-west of the state. Marcus Laing, from Laing Contract- ing at Smithton in Circular Head, said items were being gathered for distri- bution through the Lions Club of Smithton, Greenham's Tasmania, Roberts and Elders and other farmers in the district. The Greenham's meat processing plant at Smithton is the central collec- tion point. Phone Marcus Laing on 0428 522 364 for details. Meanwhile, Landmark, a national community partner of Australian Red Cross, is donating fencing materials to the volunteer-based organisation BlazeAid. BlazeAid has now established two base camps in Tasmania -- one at Sorell, the other at Hamilton Showgrounds. At the opening of Landmark's Launceston branch last Friday, branch manager Adrian Rattray said the com- pany was providing free terms for up to six months to clients so that they could take delivery of all of their capital rebuilding requirements now when needed. Bushfire-affected farmers can phone Landmark Launceston on 6391 8751. Donations for Australian Red Cross Bushfire appeal can be made on 1800 811 700. Impact Fertiliser depots are also taking donations of fencing products. Great cars, Great prices. 275 Main Road, Glenorchy Phone: 6213 3315 www.hobartgreatwall.com.au 37-- 41 St John Street, Launceston Phone: 6334 8444 $24,990. Drive away. Metallic paint $350 extra. $22,990. 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