The Port Melbourne community is rallying around bushfire affected Lakes Entrance, which is a hub for this devastated area – with events including a weekend away being held to assist the East Gippsland town’s economic recovery.
Led by the Port Melbourne Business Association (PMBA), businesses, residents and service groups are banding together to help Lakes Entrance firms hit hard by the loss of vital tourism dollars in the aftermath of the bushfires.
This “sister city” model is believed to be the first undertaken by a local community with a bushfire affected area.
“Lakes Entrance might be more than 300 km away from Port Melbourne, but there is plenty we can do to help its locals get back on their feet. Visits, buying produce and supporting fund-raisers are just some of the ways we can all show our support for this premier tourism destination which is doing it tough,” PMBA Chairman Paul Littman said.
The “sister city” relationship will be officially launched at a public event at the Port Melbourne Town Hall on Thursday 27 February from 6-7 pm. East Gippsland Shire Council Mayor John White will speak alongside East Gippsland residents affected by the fires.
Other initiatives underway to support the Lakes Entrance community include:
- A wellness day in Port Melbourne on Sunday, 15 March featuring yoga on the beach and free access to participating gyms, studios and sporting clubs
- A Labour Day weekend away (6-9 March) in Lakes Entrance for Port Melbourne residents
- Promotions to purchase produce and products
- Primary school relationships
- Fundraising for a new fire engine (to be matched by the Victorian Government)
- Lists of Port Melbourne businesses supporting their Lakes Entrance counterparts and outlining simple ways of assisting the Lakes Entrance community and businesses.
To arrange an interview, please call Paul Littman on 0419 540 004.
Port Melbourne Business Association
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Other supporters include:
Star Health – Dani McCaffrey, 0459 988 353
Port Melbourne Rotary – Kevin Beagle – 0401 287 264
Port Melbourne residents:
Heather Cunsolo – 0427 343 491 or Christine Griffiths – 0415 773 834
Mayor City of Port Phillip
M: 0413 246 704