Message of Support for Bushfire Regions
Our thoughts remain with our fellow Australians
On behalf of Queensland Yacht Charters member of Dream Yacht Charter and the Whitsunday region, we wish to express that our thoughts remain with our fellow Australians in fire-affected communities across Australia who have lost so much.
We are grateful and thankful for the heroes working tirelessly to keep us safe.
It is a difficult time and the Whitsunday region has been extremely fortunate to remain unaffected by the current bush fires.
Though we seem far away up here in the Whitsundays, as a team of people living and working here, we all have friends and families affected by the fires, in other regions of Australia. We feel for the losses sustained of our much loved domestic animals and wildlife and to our beautiful country and natural environments, and for the losses of our fellow Australians families, friends, co-worker’s, homes, businesses and livelihoods.
Our region knows all too well the effects a major crisis like this can have on the community on a personal level and on its tourism and related businesses and industries.
Tourism is a major industry and employer in Australia and supporting our tourism regions is one of the most significant ways to aid in long-term recovery.
We stand here ready to assist as we can and to welcome you on your arrival in the Whitsundays.
Our fellow tourism operators in the Whitsundays region are also operating as usual, and we are working together with many local initiatives in place for donations and support to the people in fire-affected areas.
What are we doing to help?
We have been extremely fortunate to have not been affected directly by the bushfires, and as an unaffected tourism destination, the Whitsundays, perhaps collectively, can offer something unique in the way of support.
Here in the Whitsundays, as well as Australia wide, Donna the co-ordinator from the Salvation Army is working with several Charities, for her primarily, and for us, this is a response from the Whitsundays as a means of “paying it forward” and responding in kind to the massive support and relief services provided to the people of the Whitsundays from fellow Australian’s during Cyclone Debbie.
The Salvation Army mobilises their Medical Service teams as well as their volunteers providing practical on the ground support on the front lines. Salvation Army Bushfire Appeal
The Charities she is co-ordinating with are:
Slabs for Heroes This is a Charity that collects donations of slabs of water, snacks, food and essential items, they distribute these items to where they are needed most – This Charity group is not government funded and is manned by volunteers. The Salvation Army assists with purchasing the products and distribution also.
Picking up the Pieces is a Charity that Salvation Army is working with to provide container homes to frontline first responders (many of them volunteers).
They are purchasing the Containers from Black Fly Containers who are offering the containers at a discounted price.
The goal is to get 20 containers initially to families in need.
The families initially will be chosen from a list of first responders who have lost their homes while fighting to save the homes of other people.
The container homes will be delivered and installed using local tradesmen in the areas to connect plumbing and electricity etc. The homes will remain in place as a home for the families to live in until their homes are rebuilt, there will also be landscaping organised to give a feeling “this is my home, my safe space”, once their homes are rebuilt the container home will be moved on to the next recipient on the list – the Single Bedroom Home is approx. $20,000.00 and the Family Home (2 and a half bedroom) is approx. $35,000.00. If the recipient is not insured, for the loss of their homes etc – the home is theirs to keep. They are seeking Donations from Major Companies to purchase the Containers, and to cover the cost of installation and transport.
The intention is to name each home after the company that has donated it e.g Dream Yacht Home, or Coral Sea Home. Donna Fraser will be supervising the distribution and installation of the containers.
There will be local fundraisers in the Whitsundays at the Reef Gateway Hotel, The Boat House Boaty’s, Paddy’s and Paradiso we have offered some DYC merchandise to raffles for fundraising.
Donna is also putting together a major Prize – the details as yet to be finalised – that will be awarded to a first responder and their family for a holiday in the Whitsundays and she is seeking donations to provide a holiday for this family as a much needed respite and recovery period.
She will put together a list of frontline first responders, recommended by the Chief Fire Commissioner; their names will be put in a “hat” and one name drawn at a local televised ceremony. The family will receive the prize as a “basket” containing all of the prizes.
Dream Yacht Charter has offered a local Whitsundays prize and our Dream Yacht Charter Head office has offered a major Prize also, we feel that a Bareboat Charter and Sailing in the Whitsundays is the ideal restorative holiday. Many of our local tourism operators and Resorts and Hotels have also offered Prizes – the goal is to offer a complete Whitsunday Holiday experience for the Family where they will not have to spend a cent and they will be met at the airport and returned after their holiday rested and recuperated, as you are probably aware supporting and maintaining, the mental health and well-being of our firefighters, rescue workers, volunteers and first responders is vitally important. There are so many families that have missed out on Christmas and holidays while they were fighting fires, and many more have lost more than a holiday, and this where the something unique comes into play – to bring these people here to rest and recuperate. We are hoping to have airfares and transport costs donated also.
If you feel that there is something that you could offer to contribute for the Salvation Army and the Charities involved, please do not hesitate to contact us, or donate directly.
You may contact Donna Fraser directly for further questions [email protected]
To read the Tourism Australia Bushfire Statement by – Phillipa Harrison click here.
For specific Bushfire updates from Tourism Australia click here.
Travelling to Queensland
Queensland has been fortunate to remain largely unaffected by the current bushfires and Queensland’s tourism operators and experiences are operating as usual.
Some rural bushfire warnings are in place and visitors can stay up-to-date with the latest information and advice being issued by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES).
Information on what to do if a natural disaster strikes while travelling, and links to key information services is available on TEQ’s corporate website.
Tourism Australia’s website has information about safe travel in Australia, and which areas are/are not affected by bushfires.