Dubbo Rotarians team up with Metalcorp to help bushfire victims

Sober advice from Dubbo’s Glenn Pittman after an inspection of land and homes brutalised by the Sir Ivan fire led to a partnership that will help feed BlazeAid volunteers and provide materials for rebuilding of fences.

PLEASE DONATE: Metalcorp Steel's NSW rural manager Tony Fenwick and Rotary Club of Dubbo members Sandy Birkett-Williams, Carla Pittman and Peter Judd appeal for donations to help the Sir Ivan fire victims. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

PLEASE DONATE: Metalcorp Steel's NSW rural manager Tony Fenwick and Rotary Club of Dubbo members Sandy Birkett-Williams, Carla Pittman and Peter Judd appeal for donations to help the Sir Ivan fire victims. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

A member of the Rotary Club of Dubbo, Mr Pittman told its members of the desperate circumstances facing bushfire victims, many of them having lost the means to make a living.

“It’s not going to be a quick fix for any of those guys,” he said on Wednesday at Metalcorp Dubbo. “They are really in serious trouble.” 

Mr Pittman was on hand when club president Sandy Birkett-Williams and NSW rural manager for Metalcorp Steel Tony Fenwick appealed to the public to support victims of the bushfire. Mrs Birkett-Williams said the club and the company were working together after the inspection revealed “two needs”. “One of them was fencing materials and the other was that it is costing BlazeAid $1000 a week to feed volunteers,” the president said.

Mrs Birkett-Williams said monetary donations would be used by Metalcorp to supply fencing materials at significantly-reduced cost. Mr Fenwick confirmed the arrangement and the company’s plan for trucks to go “back and forwards free of charge”. “Metalcorp has built great relationships over the years through our farming network that has been affected by the fire,” he said. “We’re hearing stories of people losing all their stock, all their feed, houses and sheds. Metalcorp..will do whatever we can to help the community that supported us over so many years.”

Mrs Birkett-Williams said monetary donations would also be passed on to butchers in Dunedoo and Coolah to pay for meat to feed the volunteers. “That’s money going back into the community,” she said.

Mrs Birkett-Williams and Mr Fenwick said donations big and small would be gratefully received. “People we’ve seen coming through the door.. are in good spirits and wanting to stay where they are and wanting to rebuild,” Mr Fenwick said. Donations can be left with Metalcorp Dubbo at 1 Richardson Road or deposited into an account at Regional Australia Bank set up by the club.

It is called the Sir Ivan Bush Fire Appeal, BSB 932000, ACC 100362937.

Mr Pittman told of 10 years of drought and “only three good seasons” before the bushfire took its devastating toll. A lightning strike started the Sir Ivan fire on February 11 leading to the destruction of 55,000 hectares of land and 35 homes in Uarbry and surrounds. It also damaged 5700 kilometres of fencing and killed 430 sheep and 55 head of cattle. The fire was officially out on March 7 after a natural disaster declaration on February 14.