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Friday, 6th March, 2009

Broken Hill's reputation for being generous has been reinforced by the city's extraordinary effort in helping Victoria's bushfire victims.

The NSW Fire Brigade's Bush Fire Relief has raised over $55,000 state-wide -- with local residents contributing over $8,000, or an astonishing 15 per cent. "That's a very good effort," said local Station Officer Phil Eberle.

The total included over $5,000 raised by firefighters from a barbecue held on the town square last month. SO Eberle said the Sturt Club and its patrons contributed an additional $2,400 and another $620 was donated by individuals who wandered into the station. He said the relief fund would be wound up today with the proceeds transferred to the Victorian BushFire Appeal which is being administered by the Red Cross. Sturt Club secretary Doug Coff said yesterday that social clubs were typically at the forefront of emergency responses, often providing meals and shelter. He said Broken Hill's location did not make that possible but the Sturt Club and its patrons were determined to help any way they could. The club's social committee donated the proceeds of one of its weekend raffles and the amount was matched by the club. A donation tin was also placed on the bar. "Ours is a small contribution to such a big cause," Mr Coff said. Broken Hill's contribution to fire victims has extended well behind donations. A number of people have travelled to Victoria to help fight fires and in the clean up.

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