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(Pictured: Smoke rises from a tree next to a fire-ravaged house in Australia)

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre was turned into a disaster relief center on Jan. 4, providing transition assistance to affected community members evacuated from fires in Mallacoota in East Gippsland, including access to food, water, medical support and important disaster relief services.

“We have all been shocked and saddened by the devastating bush fires that are affecting so much of our country,” says Peter King, chief executive, MCEC. “Like all Australians, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre has a desire to help in any way possible.”

He adds: “We will continue to work with City of Melbourne, the Victorian Government and Victoria Police to provide as much assistance as we can during this time. Our thoughts go out to those who have been affected by these catastrophic events.”

At least 25 people have died in the fires, which have brought historic levels of destruction. While conditions improved slightly over the weekend, forecasters warn that dangerously hot and windy conditions will likely return later this week.

MCEC appreciates members of the public may wish to assist through the donation of goods and services. However, MCEC is not equipped to facilitate these offers and respectfully requests community members wishing to assist, contact the dedicated authorities.

MCEC is Melbourne’s destination for big ideas and inspirational events. Hosting more than 1000 events each year, it’s internationally renowned for incredible range of spaces, innovative design and jaw-dropping food. For more info, visit www.mcec.com.au

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