The Gippsland region of Victoria is home to vast stretches of bushland without a town or a plumbing supplier. While home to some of Australia’s most beautiful national parks, like Snowy River National Park, that same natural beauty made it particularly vulnerable to the 2020 fires.
Many families and properties across East Gippsland were gutted by the fires. While the loss of property and personal heirlooms hits hardest, it’s also the little caches of supplies and resources that have been built up over years. Remote agricultural businesses like the ones in East Gippsland rely on these supplies to perform necessary repairs and maintenance. Now, a lot of farms and families have lost those supplies.
Garth Patterson of GTP Plumbing and Gas was up working on a property when he realised the significance of the situation. “I was just thinking there were so many similar situations around East Gippsland, right now. We need to be able to do more than just major repairs.”
Garth arranged to travel across East Gippsland, visiting isolated farms and properties that were at least an hour from their closest plumbing supplier. With the help of the Reece Grant, he was able to take materials and fittings out at cost — pipes, fittings, glues, valves. All the necessary fiddly bits needed to keep these regional homes and businesses running.
“It’s really about getting farmers back on their feet, helping their farms get up and running again.”
Garth wanted to ensure minimal waste by doing proper assessments of each farm’s needs and supplying them with only fittings and materials they could actually use. That way the farms were provided with exactly what they needed, maximising impact.