March 11 marks World Plumbing Day. As our industry gears up for another busy year, this date is a timely reminder of the vital role that plumbing plays on a global...
Peter Jensen is a Master Plumbers Life Member who spoke to us in February as the fires were still blazing.
I have just returned from Bairnsdale in Gippsland having delivered four Onga petrol fire/water transfer pumps. These pumps will go directly to families in the district affected by the recent bushfires for future protection and to give them the ability to transfer water around their properties to water stock.
There are more pumps on order to be delivered to this area and some to other parts of the state. The pumps were ordered and paid for by the Master Plumbers Bendigo Charity Golf Day Committee headed by Geoff Moroney, Phil Kelly and Brett Crapper who run the annual fundraiser. Special thanks to Onga Pumps on pricing.
In addition to the uncomfortable 42 degrees, the heavy smoke cover in the area from flare ups and the Marlo fires created a very eerie feeling.
We tripped up to Bruthen for lunch and checked out the BlazeAid Camp there.
Something that was hard to understand was the grass regrowth and the sprouting on the burnt and blackened trees. Even the bracken bushes had started pushing up through the now bare forest floor with the help of some recent rains.
Still it’s a long way to go as these families rebuild their lives.
Talking to people in the towns it’s not just the property owners that are affected, it’s also the rest of these communities that are left struggling.
The man on the ground down there in Bairnsdale is plumber Bernie Farquhar, long-time member of the Master Plumbers Association. He is the catalyst in providing direct help to families affected in Gippsland.
Bernie is the president of the Bairnsdale Mitchell Rotary Club and represents a committee for fire relief consisting of four other Rotary clubs working together to support the affected families. This group has secured funds from several organisations to provide products and goods.
One of their first priorities is to arrange for the delivery of up to 500, 40-foot shipping containers to go directly to properties as storage sheds and potential temporary accommodation units.
Some special conditions and red tape will have to be overcome first with councils and authorities.
Some containers may be fitted out with basic services/amenities with the appropriate council approvals to provide some comfort for the families while being able to stay, live and work on site on their properties.