Australia’s worst bushfires on record show few signs of receding and the toll they have taken is already catastrophic. More than a billion animals—not counting insects, bats, fish or frogs—are estimated to be dead. Smog-ridden, orange skies and scenes of carnage across 27.7 million acres of land are being described as “apocalyptic” and like “the gates of hell.” At least 27 people are dead and hundreds more have lost their homes.
After being criticized for his failure to take action earlier, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that the government would pledge A$50 million ($34.58 million) toward a wildlife recovery program. He also declared that he was calling in the Navy, with vessels like the HMAS Adelaide, the fleet’s largest amphibious vessel, setting off to help evacuate stranded citizens. And last Friday, the HMAS Choules embarked on another, more surprising mission: to deliver 3,000 liters of beer to Mallacoota, a small town in Victoria.
"The pub is at the heart of regional communities, and after what Mallacoota residents and firefighters have been through the least we would do is make sure they could enjoy a beer," Peter Filipovic, CEO at Carlton & United Breweries, told CNN. The organization also pledged A$1 million towards fighting the devastating fires.
While it might sound frivolous to worry about the pubs at a time like this, the citizens of Mallacoota are in need of some good news and a drink. The normally picturesque town was hit hard by the bushfires, forcing 4,000 residents to flee to the coast. After the delivery, locals took to the Mallacoota Community News Facebook page to express their gratitude.
“We were running low on supplies and a pub can't run without beer, can it?" Lou Battel, owner of the Mallacoota Hotel Motel and recipient bar, told SBS. “Every Australian needs a beer and definitely the emergency services working non-stop.”
Image by Ulrike Leone from Pixabay