Defence helicopters carting 4000 litres of unleaded fuel are on their way to the bushfire-ravaged Victorian coastal town of Mallacoota.
Federal member for Gippsland Darren Chester took to Facebook on Saturday to provide his constituents with an update on the situation in the town, more than 10 days after it was suddenly cut off by bushfires.
“I’ve spoken to East Sale RAAF Base officers this morning coordinating relief flights and been told there will be drums of unleaded fuel delivered today by the Chinooks,” he said.
“They are also trying to fly bottled gas into town and bulk diesel as the day goes on.”
He said the fuel will help power generators, as many remain without electricity.
The town’s only operating service station closed on Saturday morning after it ran out of fuel.
Notes plastered to a window read “Sorry, will reopen when highway reopens” and “We have had enough. Beer before fuel,” in reference to the 3000 litres of beer shipped into the town on the navy’s HMAS Choules earlier in the week.
According to the Ausnet outage map, around 600 properties in Mallacoota are still without power. They are not expected to have it restored until after Wednesday, as technicians have not been able to access the region.
Mr Chester said two army vehicles were working to open the road into Mallacoota.
“There is no set timeframe for when the road will open to civilian traffic but teams are working on debris removal and assessment of hazardous trees at the moment,” he said.
“If I was to take a guess, I would expect to see escorted convoys of supplies on the highway within days but it will be a lot longer until private vehicles can safely use the road.”
More than 1500 people were evacuated out of Mallacoota by the defence force over the last 10 days, making it Australia’s largest peacetime humanitarian rescue mission since Cyclone Tracy.
Extracted from 7News