BLAZEAID: Co-ordinator John Lillico said the team had started work but still needed more volunteers.
BLAZEAID: Co-ordinator John Lillico said the team had started work but still needed more volunteers. Contributed

BlazeAid sets up base for 'long haul' to help after storms

VOLUNTEERS have been travelling from all over the country to help South Burnett families affected by last week's devastating storms.

Kingaroy BlazeAid co-ordinator John Lillico and his team of hard-working volunteers have set up at the Vintage Machinery Club on Warren Truss Dr, Kingaroy (near the Kingaroy Airport).

"We are all set up and now we are chasing more volunteers,” Mr Lillico said.

"There is a couple flying in from Victoria to come and help.”

The BlazeAid team will be in the South Burnett for the next three months to help with fixing fences, cleaning yards and generally getting things back to where they were before the wild weather.

"There are a couple of dairy farms that have been hit pretty hard,” Mr Lillico said.

"Lots of elderly people who just need a hand cleaning up their yards.

"We have a list of jobs that have been registered and we will just work our way through the list.

"We do it to put a smile back on their faces.”

Mr Lillico has been a volunteer BlazeAid coordinator for more than five years and he said the organisation relied solely on volunteers and donations from the community.

"We get zero assistance from the government,” he said.

Mr Lillico, who is from Muttaburra outside Longreach, said a lot of volunteers were people who had received assistance from BlazeAid in the past, and they wanted to give back.

"One farmer comes along with his tractor whenever I asked him to,” he said.

"Another young lady is a scientist in the United States and she will ring me up and say 'I have six weeks off, where can I help?'.

"She lost two friends in a bushfire and this is her way of remembering them.

"It's amazing how good it feels to be able to help people.”

To volunteer your time or to donate cash or other supplies, you are invited to pop along to the Vintage Machinery Club.

"They can come in to the vintage shed and I will register them or they can bring their donations in here,” Mr Lillico said.

"We always love getting the cakes and other foods people make for us.

"The great folks at the Rotary and Lions clubs will providing us with meals every night.”

Mr Lillico praised the work of South Burnett Regional councillors Kathy Duff and Danita Potter for their assistance in getting them set up.

"They have been great, that Kathy Duff is a little dynamo,” he said.

The BlazeAid volunteer said he was already feeling settled in the region.

"I wont be going anywhere, you're stuck with me for the long haul,” he said.

"I'll see you down the pub or the bowls club.”

South Burnett

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