Rebuilding fences is just one of the jobs that Blaze Aid volunteers are doing on south-west farms burnt out by the St Patrick’s Day bush fires.
Rudy Van Der Korput and Jenny Zautsen, both volunteers at Blaze Aid’s Cobden camp, said lending a listening ear for the farmers about the challenges they were facing was a less obvious way they were able to help.
Mr Van Der Korput said the high cost of bringing in feed for livestock and dealing with insurance companies were among the many issues currently confronting the farmers.
The couple recently spent five weeks working at the Macarthur Blaze Aid camp before last week transferring to the Cobden camp.
Mr Van Der Korput, 60, and Ms Zautsen, 55, are retirees from Sydney who are travelling full-time in their motorhome.
They said travelling all the time was “a bit self-indulgent” and they planned to work at the Cobden camp for about a month.
The two got the Blaze Aid bug doing fire recovery work near Mudgee last year and enjoy giving back to communities.
They said the farmers they worked with were very grateful and they learnt a lot from them about life on the land.
While the weather at times had been cold and wet, they worked in between downpours, doing what they could.
Blaze Aid said the Cobden camp had, up until May 21, erected 186 kilometres of fencing while the Terang camp had done 148kms. The Macarthur camp closed on May 20 after erecting 98ms of fencing.
Blaze Aid president Kevin Butler said its south-west post and wire appeal funds were now exhausted after it donated $210,000 worth of vouchers for fencing materials to farmers. He said more donations were needed because some farmers were unable to do any fire recovery work without donations.
A country music concert will be held at the Woorndoo hall near Mortlake on June 30 to raise money for Blaze Aid’s post and wire program.