Fences fixed at Wulgulmerang

Fences fixed at Wulgulmerang

BlazeAid is continuing its work at Wulgulmerang in remote East Gippsland.

The Wulgulmerang camp, about 20 minutes from Gelantipy, was opened in February with a group of 24 volunteers in the beginning.

That number has now scaled back to 13, the majority of whom are backpackers. Maggee and Paul Apps, from Sydney, are coordinating the program.

The couple, who describe themselves as grey nomads, are camped with their small team of workers at the Wulgulmerang Recreation Reserve.

Speaking to the Advertiser, 69-year-old Mrs Apps said the team had been fencing big properties that were burnt out in the area.

“Some farmers own four different properties, so there’s a lot of work to be done,” she said.

To date they have completed 55 kilometres of fencing.

Farmers, who were burnt out in the bushfires, have registered 21 properties to be fenced in the Wulgulmerang area.

“Because of the remoteness there’s not many people who are prepared to venture out here,” Mrs Apps said.

“Wulgulmerang isn’t a town, it’s a location, but it’s a wonderful community up here.”

Mrs Apps said the “backpackers were worth their weight in gold”.

“They work really hard and they’re a great group that we’ve got,” she said.

While the Apps live in their bus on the recreation reserve, with their three little dogs, the backpackers, who hail from the United Kingdom, France, Slovakia, Japan and New Zealand, camp in their little igloo-style huts supplied by BlazeAid.

“We expect to be here until March,” Mrs Apps said.

“But we love it.”

While 71-year-old Mr Apps and his backpacking team fence during the day, Mrs Apps stays behind to prepare meals and do the washing.

“I’m the mum so to speak,” she said.

IMAGE: Coordinators of the BlazeAid program in Wulgulmerang, Paul and Maggee Apps, in front of their bus in which they have been living for the past seven years as they travel around. (PS)