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Red Cross urges people who escaped bushfire to register their details as soon as possible as appeal fund passes $100 million

Monday February 16, 2009

More than 14,500 people have come forward since the start of the bush fires to register with the NRIS, which is operated by Red Cross on behalf of the Australian government. Anyone who has not yet registered can do so at a relief centre by contacting Red Cross staff.

Alternatively, they can supply their details by phone on 1800 727 077 or register by email at

Red Cross CEO Robert Tickner said: 'I fully endorse the call by Victoria's chief commissioner of police, Christine Nixon, for people who fled the bushfire areas to let us know they are safe and well as soon as possible.

'Red Cross is making a special plea for anyone who is staying with friends or relatives, as well as anyone who was away on holidays or overseas at the time of the fires, to register so that they can be matched and eliminated from the Missing Persons List by the Victorian Police.

'This also includes anyone who has reason to believe that someone may still be missing.

'Our staff in the bushfire areas are still getting a steady flow of inquiries and we will continue to take registrations as we move into the recovery phase of the operation.'

Meanwhile, the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Appeal Fund today passed $100 million.

'This is an incredible outpouring of generosity and support from the Australian people' said Mr Tickner, 'and we know that many millions more have been pledged through telethons and other fundraising events, from corporate Australia, from governments and from people as far away as the UK, East Timor, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia. It truly is an amazing response.'