Neighbourhood Watch 3193 – from the Bayside to the Bushfire zone

NHW 3193 brings “tears” to Victorian Fire victims!

When Tim Vancampen (Chief Executive Officer, VICT) arrived in Melbourne, Australia in December 2019 to take over the management of the Victoria International Container Terminal he was confronted with some of the greatest Australian bush fires ever seen.

So, with the support and encouragement to do something for the fire victims by Mr. Enrique K Razon, the President of ICTSI from Manila, Philippines, he sought the opinion of the Non-Executive Director to the Board of VICT, Mr Philip Lovel AM.

Philip advised Tim to wait until all the fires were out and the true Community needs were identified. There was a lot of immediate Government and Community support but it was the long-term needs that were important according to Philip.

Tim Vancampen agreed to support the fire victims with empty shipping containers to be placed on all their burnt-out sites so they could re-establish their properties and have their equipment and “saved” belongings stored safety and securely on site.

In discussions, VICT provided funding to purchase 42 empty containers and deliver them to the different areas affected by the fires.

With the assistance of the Victorian Transport Association lead by the CEO Mr Peter Anderson, 21 affected residents were identified and contacted by Peter to receive a shipping container.

Peter did a reconnaissance of all the sites and locations over many weeks. This was not easy as the fire location was at least 450 kms from Melbourne and the individual sites located kms off the main highways.

Peter made a call out to the transport industry through his member transport companies who responded magnificently. The companies provided their services free of charge and paid the drivers wages and accommodation where needed.

A deal was then made with waterfront companies to supply the empty containers at a reduced price and this was done through the goodwill of ANL and Tasman Logistics.

So, where does NHW 3193 fit in? In January 2020 NHW 3193 hosted a “sausage sizzle” at Bunnings in Mentone to raise funds for the bushfire victims. We were debating what to do with the funds and decided to buy 3 shipping containers ourselves and donate them also to the fire victims. We hooked onto the VTA delivery program and Philip Lovel and Geoff Bransbury went on a big adventure.

Saturday and Sunday 20th and 21st June was set for the delivery. The trucks rolled into Cann River and Mallacoota after an 8-hour drive from the Port of Melbourne (see map attached). The linehaul was done by B-doubles and a couple of semi- trailers. Two side lifters were also needed at Cann River and Mallacoota to unload the containers. Tilt trays were then used at both locations to deliver to the individual farm/town sites. All this was coordinated by Peter Anderson and his deputy Greg Cain from the VTA in a very successful operation.

All deliveries were completed by late Sunday night in poor light and drizzling rain.

Philip Lovel said it was very emotional. Nearly every fire victim/recipient cried as we arrived and acknowledged the support, we were giving them. They all thanked VICT and the VTA/NHW 3193 for helping them. Some residents were interviewed said they had never heard of VICT or Tim Vancampen or even the VTA/NHW 3193 but wanted us to pass on their thanks.

It was a team effort by the VTA, Transport industry, VICT, NHW 3193 and the Container suppliers.

Well done to all the organizations.

The next 21 containers will be delivered in July to burnt out sites in the North East of Victoria.

 

For further information please contact Philip Lovel or Geoff Bransbury by email nhw3193@gmail.com