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FTMA kicks off help centre for re-building phase after Australia’s worst natural disaster

IN TIMES of need it seems there is always someone ready and willing to help out, and quite often the source of that help is from those who have also been affected by a catastrophic event.
Kersten Gentle lived in a community threatened by the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria so she knows of the fear, heartache, the loss and then the attempts to rebuild and revert to some form of normalcy.
It was no wonder then that Kersten, now the executive officer of Frame and Truss Manufacturers of Australia was quick to act following news of the devastating flooding in Queensland and FTMA is now offering assistance with the re-building phase.
“Our hearts go out to everyone in Queensland and Northern NSW suffering from floods and for those communities facing bushfires south of Perth. What is happening in Queensland and Northern NSW is simply devastating and hard to believe. As someone who lived in a community threatened during the 2009 Black Saturday fires I fully understand how hard it is to comprehend what is happening to your communities, families and friends who are in the path of mother nature’s destruction and I also understand how Australians want to get in and help but don’t know what they can do,” said Kersten.
“FTMA Australia recognises that there may be frame and truss plants affected by this disaster and thought it would be worth being proactive and setting up a National Equipment for Sale or Donation List. Once the floods have subsided, rebuilding must commence and there may be businesses seeking equipment. Obviously most of the large equipment should be fine but the electrical equipment such as hand drills, drop saws, general cutting equipment, leads etc will be needed.
“During my visits to frame and truss plants around the country I have seen many plants with spare equipment stacked up against the back wall and we thought this might be a good time to provide details on the equipment including a photo and a price. FTMA Australia will gather this information and put in to a document which can be placed on our website providing those who need to replace equipment easy access to assist in the rebuilding,” she said.
If you have equipment that you think may be of assistance to businesses that have suffered due to these devastating floods then please send relevant information such as description, photo, price and contact details to [email protected] or via fax (03) 5962 3463.
FTMA Australia will be contacting the Federal Forestry Minister Joe Ludwig to seek access to the remaining funds in the Forest Industry Development Fund (FIDF) that may also be able to assist timber industry related businesses that have been affected to perhaps upgrade equipment. The FIDF had two rounds of funding opportunities and not all the funds were allocated.
“The Minister stated at the last Forest & Wood Products Council – on which FTMA Australia represents the frame and truss sector – that there may not be another round and that the funds may no longer be accessible, however, we believe this is a good opportunity for industry to access this money which was allocated for industry development, which we will pursue.
“Finally, to anyone affected by this disaster if there is anything you need that you think we can assist with please either call me on 0418 226 242 or email me at [email protected] Businesses that may have survived may have employees that require things specifically for their families and we are happy to coordinate this through the frame and truss industry as we are all thinking of you during these extremely difficult times,” Kersten said.