Anyone who needs help quickly can apply to Mayor's fund

NOT all of the money donated to the Mayor's Community Benefit Fund has been dedicated to those recovering from the January floods and natural disasters so there are funds available to help others in need.

Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell said so far funds had been allocated to a family who lost everything in a house fire as well as people affected by the natural disasters in January.

The funds are allocated at the discretion of the Mayor as they come to light.

"The Mayor's Community Benefit Fund was started in November last year and now has $32,000 available," he said.

"I'm sure that a large number of the donations were a direct response to what people saw unfolding during the January floods.

"We've also had some large corporate donations so there is now a good base from which grants can be made.

"Anyone in the community can donate money into the fund which is used to help locals who need help quickly - such as families whose house has burnt down, someone who is stuck because vital equipment has broken or been stolen or to get back on their feet after a natural disaster.

Cr O'Connell encouraged individuals and groups to keep the fund in mind.

"The allocations are modest at up to a $1000 but we encourage people to put in an application," he said.

"Applications are not complicated, just a letter addressed to the Mayor, and are judged on their merit with the aim to help locals."

While the fund is primarily to assist individuals and families directly affected by disaster, it could also be extended to help groups such as rural fire brigades and State Emergency Service groups.

"It would not pay for new kitchens and carpets but could help groups prepare for the approaching natural disaster season, especially if they needed to replace or buy equipment such as satellite phones that would help their entire community," Cr O'Connell said.

Donations can be made at any of the council's customer service centres in Hervey Bay, Maryborough or Tiaro.



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