TRACKWATCH JUNE 2019 15 Following the major bushfire in the Bunyip State Forest two months ago there has been a concerted effort by the broader community to not only rebuild the district, but to assist the land owners recover from the devastation. The greatest effect for the fire affected people is not just rebuilding the property lost, their greatest need is to rebuild their lives and return to having an income. The district most effected is Garfield North, Tynong North, Bunyip and Tonimbuk. These people are simply overwhelmed by the workload in front of them and are struggling to make a start. The biggest issue is the effect the fires have had on their mental health, it’s because of this issue alone the Four-Wheel Drive community and Blaze-Aid have added immeasurable value. We can measure fences and wire removal by the trailer load and the tonage of firewood provided, but their mental health recovery is a difficult object to measure. The FWD movement have managed to remove tree litter, cut down dangerous trees, remove star pickets, remove burnt wire and carted it away to skips provided by other organisations. Blaze Aid have completed the same and replaced kilometres of fencing - this work being completed by volunteers would take the farmer months to complete. The FWD volunteers providing their time and skills during the week and weekends has had an enormous impact of good will on the victims. The LROC club in one day, by cleaning up tree litter along fence lines, took the look of gloom and tears from the face of one woman who felt the work was so overwhelming for her to contemplate as she could not fathom where to start. She has since returned to the Tonimbuk Recovery Centre highly praising the club for the work they did for her. The Melbourne Jeep Club and the Toyota Land Cruiser Club of Victoria in a combined effort hit five farms over one weekend. This effort has been reported up through the local community and had an over- whelming impact on the land owners. One fire effected landowner stated that since the clean-up activities the FWD Clubs completed for them he could now return to work and provide the family with an income, not only that they can have their horses returned from agistment, reducing their outgoing costs as well. One farmer stated his family can now have the Queens Birthday weekend off for a rest, something he never envisaged a month ago. The work in the district will go on for another twelve months or more, the contribution provided by the fourbie clubs is invaluable but we still need more assistance from club volunteers. A very commendable effort thus far from TLCCV, LROC, and MJOC who have all offered to continue after Mother’s Day with their commitment to the recovery activities. The more the merrier. Cheers Eric Bishop. Toyota Land Cruiser Club of Australia (Vic Inc.) tlccrg@tlccv.com.au