SES controller fights fires with raising funds
AFTER turning on the news and watching the devastating bushfires, Brian Lowe decided to help raise funds for the victims.
"Throughout my time with SES, I've never seen fires like the recent ones down South and I thought I just can't sit here and do nothing," Mr Lowe said.
Mr Lowe, with the assistance of SES volunteers and Burnett Regional Council, placed a collection points in prominent areas off North Burnett, where the public could leave donations.
The collection points were open for just six hours and managed to raise more than $8000.
"It's a rural community and I know our farmers are struggling, so I felt a bit guilty asking farmers to contribute, but their generosity was just amazing," Mr Lowe said.
"I think media coverage and firefighters videoing the inside the fires, where the entire vision is just taken up by fire has really resonated with people.
"And a part from the loss of businesses and homes, what happened to our native animals was just devastating."
Mr Lowe said he believes it will take a long time for communities to rebuild after the fires, but noted Australians were full of strength and resilience.
"I think it will take a minimum of five years for people to get back on their feet and a lot of residents may even reconsider rebuilding in those areas," Mr Lowe said.
"But the problem is where do we put these people in the interim?
"They've lost everything, their homes, their income, so they can't afford a holiday home or rental property and emergency evacuations only stay open for so long."
The SES controller said he was "stoked" with the amount raised and did not expect to hit a target much higher than $2000.
Mr Lowe thanked the Burnett Regional Council, SES unit and community for their contribution and assistance with the fundraiser.
The cheque for $8406.55 was handed to the Red Cross today.