Locals digging deep for fire recovery

By David Rak

People throughout Seymour and district are donating time, money and equipment to help those affected by the bushfires.

One such initiative is Operation Veteran Assist, a veteran-led response to the bushfires that have ravaged Australia during the summer.

The response is relying purely on the generosity of veterans and their families to fund the operation.

Seymour’s Garry Bester will be leaving from Melbourne at 4 am to head to the Omeo and Bairnsdale areas as part of a 75-man team volunteering to help.

Recently he has been drumming up support from local businesses and community groups to gather funds and supplies for veterans affected by the fires.

Seymour RSL have provided funding and Seymour Mowers and Motorbikes donated a huge range of equipment to help with work in the disaster areas.

“Likely tasks in the areas will be tree removal, clearing debris from burnt properties, fencing, stock control and providing first aid,” Mr Bester said.

“We also intend to spend as much money in the impacted areas as possible. Fresh meals are likely to be a sourced at the pub or purchased in bulk and then divided equally amongst all personnel.

“People in these areas have lost everything . . . this is one way of trying to make their lives a little easier.”

For more information about Operation Veterans Assist, visit