Seeking your support

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HOLY SMOKE: The Abbeyard-Yarrarabula South fire, captured from a Forest Fire Management Victoria aircraft. The fire, which started on December 31, has merged with the Mount Buffalo fire and grown to 71,000 hectares. More than 500 people are deployed to the fire from a range of agencies including Forest Fire Management Victoria, the CFA, HVP, SES, Agriculture Victoria, the ADF and visiting firefighters from the US Forest Service. PHOTO: FFMVic

SECURING income support for casual employees and encouraging tourists back to the in the Alpine Shire will be the key priorities over the coming weeks for local and federal governments, as the region is hit with an estimated $90 million loss in income for January due to the bushfires.

While the Alpine Shire has avoided physical damage to towns, the economic impact has been described by council as “serious” and tourists have largely left Bright, Mount Beauty and Myrtleford in what is normally the busiest month of the year for many small businesses.

A survey of 200 tourism businesses in the region, conducted by Tourism North East of the week of January 2 to 9, revealed over half of businesses surveyed reported 100 per cent losses and a further quarter reported losses higher than 75 per cent.

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