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Eurobodalla Firebreak Relief Project

*IMPORTANT UPDATE*

Through your combined generosity Skal have 26 accommodation packages pledged with more probables. This is a great start and we thank you for all the support…BUT… because of the current situation and probable future increased regulations we are putting our vital project on hold until the sun comes out again and we can sort out a way forward for all.

FOR ALL DETAILS VISIT https://eurobodallafirebreakrelief.com.au/

Tourism leaders rally to give bushfire victims a break

‘GIVE them a break’. That’s the rallying call issued by Gold Coast and Tweed tourism heavyweights who’ve joined forces to offer respite to some of Australia’s worst affected bushfire victims.

Members of global tourism organisation Skål International and Destination Tweed today (Thurs Feb 20, 2020) launched the Eurobodalla Fire Break Relief Project, calling on industry colleagues up and down the coast to contribute.

Among those driving the initiative are a fourth generation Currumbin Valley farmer whose forebears came from the NSW South Coast, a former Eurobodalla Shire President, and a high profile 45-year veteran of local tourism.

Their mission is to offer families who lost their home during those horrendous firestorms a chance to recharge their batteries on a week-long holiday in one of Australia’s most exciting tourist destinations.

“We watched in horror as hell on earth engulfed the Eurobodalla region, towns under siege including Batemans Bay, Mogo, Currowan, Narooma and so many more,” said Skål International Southern Gold Coast president, David Freeman of Freeman’s Organic Farm.

“Whatever we can pull together – accommodation, tickets to attractions and entertainment, cruises, tours, meal vouchers, activities, transport and more – will give these families a fantastic boost on the road to recovery from such unimaginable trauma.”

Skål club foundation president, Lance Smith AM, a one-time Eurobodalla Shire President, recently visited his former hometown of Bateman’s Bay with his wife Helen to see the bushfire aftermath first hand.

“It is impossible to describe the extent of terror and despair experienced by so many, and the sheer scale of devastation,” he said. “We really were not prepared for the impact of seeing whole communities wiped out.

“Thankfully, with the support of the Gold Coast and Tweed tourism community, we are in a unique position to give those affected some comfort and respite from their nightmare and hopefully a morale boost as they struggle to recover.”

Eurobodalla Shire, which also takes in the fire grounds of Malua Bay, Clyde Mountain, Kianga, Moruya, Bodalla, Broulee and others, was chosen as the target for the Fire Break Relief Project because it was the municipality most affected by the devastating bushfires.

More than 2,000 buildings were impacted in that shire alone, including the loss of close to 500 homes and businesses.

Tourism marketing identity Peter Doggett, also a Skål club past president, said the committee had met with the Salvation Army with a view to them assessing and distributing the holiday packages to those most in need.

“Limiting it to Eurobodalla Shire and to those who lost their principal place of residence gives us a manageable and defined area of focus where the Gold Coast and Tweed tourism communities can make a significant contribution toward recovery,” he said.

“We are running a four-week campaign to assemble as many donations as possible to make these family packages the greatest experience many of the fire victims have ever had.”

Destination Tweed board member Frank Gyzemyter joined Skål vice president, Kirra’s Nirvana by the Sea operator Doug Schacht, to announce the project had already been kick-started with offers of more than 20 accommodation stays from Budds Beach to Cabarita.

“Major attractions like Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and Tropical Fruit World have jumped straight in too with contributions, along with cruise and tour operators,” Mr Gyzemyter said.

Mr Schacht said he was so proud of his colleagues in the accommodation sector for their immediate support and generosity.

Southern Gold Coast local representative Cr Gail O’Neill, also a foundation Skål club member, added her backing to the campaign.

“I’m not surprised at the early and positive response from operators in my division. We have a very strong and supportive community who always pitch in to help,” she said.

Tourism and hospitality industry members able to contribute holiday components and activities valid for use over the next 12 months, particularly during off-peak periods, should visit the Skål website to register their interest. Go to southerngoldcoast.skal.org.au

                                                                                                                

FURTHER INFORMATION:           Lance Smith, AM

                                                         Mob:  0408 428 385   Email:  lance.c.smith43@bigpond.com

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