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Byron Shire
May 7, 2021

Canberra residents helping out south coast bushfire refugees

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The view of fires from Canberra. Photo Facebook.

In an amazing gesture of generosity and support, hundreds of Canberrans are connecting via a Facebook page to offer accommodation, food, pet lodging, a place for a few hours rest, showers and storage for people bushfire refugees on the New South Wales south coast.

Following the devastating fires roaring across the South East Coast on New Year’s Eve, the group Bushfire Emergency accommodation in Canberra has been established to connect those evacuating from bushfires to people in Canberra and the surrounding region.

The group allows a way for Canberrans to support those fleeing dire conditions with free services.

Offers for everything from children’s toys, to pet bedding, meals, caravan and cars and beyond have been offered in this mass generosity outpouring.

The admins of the page say the group’s purpose is to connect those evacuating from the South East Coast bushfires to those in Canberra and surrounding areas who can provide emergency accommodation, whether it be a room or a backyard for a caravan, tent etc…

‘There does not appear to be a coordinated effort in the ACT currently to assist those needing to evacuate via Canberra. If you are aware of any formal arrangements please let admin know so we can update our information.’

There are three ways Canberrans can provide support for those evacuating and in need:

  • Accommodation for people and pets
  • Donations such as, food, nappies, baby wipes, water and sanitary items, and
  • Stopover support including showers, food, drink, washing and rest

Within 48 hours of being created, the group has grown to over 6,000 members, and is continuing to grow – consisting of those fleeing fire zones and Canberrans offering support.

Link to the group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1639155472891471/

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