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Viral appeal sees aid heading for fire victims

GENEROUS: Trevor Dawes and TPU Secretary Kay Paul with some items being donated to the Tasmanian fire appeal.
GENEROUS: Trevor Dawes and TPU Secretary Kay Paul with some items being donated to the Tasmanian fire appeal.

DONATIONS have come flooding in for the Transport People United's Tassie Fire Appeal.

TPU secretary Kay Paul said it had gone "viral".

Kay said she had been on holidays and had packed up the trailer after cleaning the house out, then she saw the news of the fire on TV and realised that her stuff, which is still in good working order would be better off going to the victims of the fires instead of the dump.

She had originally asked friends and members via Facebook to see what they could donate, when the post was shared around so much there are now collections organised for Darwin, Brisbane, NSW and Melbourne.

Then Royce Norton and Bobcat Rodgers shared the appeal with their friends and it grew from there.

Royce said he had made-up boxes of dog leads and collars as well as solar torches.

"With a fire like that you lose everything, people need phone chargers and all the things you take for granted.

"There's a lot of sad stories coming out of there."

Originally Kay thought she would be able to come up with a pallet load of items to donate, but now that has blown out and as she has been interviewed on two radio stations more donations are set to come.

"We've had people get stuff from Mt Gambier to Tas Freight. There's a drop off point in Darwin, another in Rockhampton at Rockies own Transport. As well as private people doing it."

Luckily Tasmanian Freight Services has donated freight to Tasmania for all the items the TPU has helped to collect.

Queensland Manager Kelvin Townsend said the business was happy to help.

"We're a Tasmanian based company nation wide. It's good to help out those in need and we would have regardless of who it was," he said.

When it came to people offering to collect goods, Kay said to beware of some people who would take advantage of the situation.

She said only people she trusted had been set up as private collection points and to find out who they were you can text the TPU (0488 234 553) or private message on facebook.

"We're asking people to go through anything they haven't used in the last six months that's clean and useable."

Unfortunately some people have sent boxes of ripped linen and clothing with broken zippers and holes, only items in good condition should be sent. "I ask everybody who sends stuff to assure it is clean, folded neatly and on the box is written what's inside. Very important items they need now is sleeping bags and tents."

At this stage furniture is not needed.

See a full list of what is needed and drop off points on the Transport People United's Facebook page.

Helping out

Tasmanian Freight Services has donated all the transport of items to Tasmania for free.

Their depots in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne are receiving items collected by the TPU and other businesses.

Northline's Darwin depot has agreed to truck items to Tas Freight in Brisbane to go direct to the fire victims.

Rod Pillan Transport in Dubbo is taking four pallets of dog and cat food donated by VIP Pet Foods to Tas Freight in Melbourne.

Drop off points: ScuzzTrans, Tasmania Frieght Services, Simon National Carriers, Rocky's Own Transport.

Topics:  fire appeal, tassie, transport


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