Thomas Foods fire: support available for workers, others

Support is available for Thomas Foods workers and others affected by the fire at the company’s Murray Bridge meat works.

A 24-hour support hotline – 1800 302 787 – began operating at 8am on Friday morning.

An information centre has also been set up at Murray Bridge Town Hall and will open from 8.30am each day until and including Monday, January 8.

For more information, watch the above video interview with Paul Reardon, manager of South Australia’s emergency relief services.

Here if you need: Paul Reardon, manager of South Australia's emergency relief services, stands outside the temporary information centre set up at Murray Bridge Town Hall. Photo: Peri Strathearn.

Here if you need: Paul Reardon, manager of South Australia's emergency relief services, stands outside the temporary information centre set up at Murray Bridge Town Hall. Photo: Peri Strathearn.

3.30pm Friday, January 5

Federal MP Tony Pasin says he is working with his colleagues to make sure Australia’s government is ready to assist in any way.

“I commend TFI on their commitment to support their workers,” he said.

“I have been in regular contact with TFI and the management team are aware that I am working with my federal colleagues to assist.

“Fourteen hundred workers and their families remain uncertain about what the future holds and I understand that this is a stressful time.

“I want them to know that I stand with them and that they will be supported.

”I am working to ensure that all those affected are offered the best support possible.”

4pm Thursday, January 4

Agriculture Minister Leon Bignell said government agencies such as Primary Industries and Regions SA, the Environment Protection Agency and the departments of Premier and Cabinet; Communities and Social Inclusion; Planning, Transport and Infrastructure and State Development would be involved in a taskforce that would manage the fire’s community, economic and social impacts.

"We have a business imperative, but also a social imperative here," he said at a press conference in Adelaide yesterday.

"We'll work with Thomas Foods and local government to ensure that we deliver the social needs, the mental health solutions that people are going to need down there.

"It's a devastating time for a lot of workers who were employed directly by Thomas Foods, but also the wider community in Murray Bridge.

"What we need to do ... is to have people out there on the ground giving those affected an ear to listen to their concens, and to give them some advice about how they can deal with the emotional stress they're going through.

"Further down the track if there's financial stress as well, we'll deal with that.

"As a government, we're there for as long as this takes."

This story Thomas Foods fire: support available for workers, others first appeared on The Murray Valley Standard.

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