Tag: Mr White
The first victim of Victoria’s East Gippsland bushfires has been identified by his family as 67-year-old Buchan resident Mick Roberts.
- Police have not yet formally identified the body
- Premier Daniel Andrews previously said four Victorians were unaccounted for
- Many homes have been lost in Buchan since fires hit the area on Monday morning
The body was found by one of Mr Roberts’s relatives in his bedroom inside his Buchan home after bushfires hit the town this week, but is yet to be formally identified by police.
Toby Parsons told the ABC his great-uncle ‘Mick’ was a “hero” in the community and “someone you could look up to”.
“He was much more than just my uncle,” he said.
“He was the best uncle you could ask for.
“I always had respect for him and no matter how rough or hard he looked on the outside he was so lovely on the inside and would always make you feel good.”
‘Dry humour’ and wit remembered by sister
Mr Roberts’s sister, Jenner Carter, told the ABC her brother was the youngest of five and had lived in Buchan for 17 years.
“Everybody knew him, and he knew everyone,” she said.
Ms Carter described her brother as a “witty” man with “dry humour”.
She said her brother’s body was found in his bedroom by a family member after he had been missing for some time.
“He loved his farm. He would never have left his home no matter what,” she said.
Ms Carter said the cool change that swept through Buchan “lifted the rafters off the house”.
She said it was not yet clear how exactly her brother died.
Some communities remain ‘totally isolated’
Mayor of the East Gippsland Shire Council John White said Buchan was a resilient community.
“I didn’t know him [Mr Roberts], but he would certainly have been well known in Buchan and by others too, so that’s just really, really sad,” he told ABC Statewide Drive.
“Buchan has been enduring these bushfire attacks for the last three years, and finally they have succumbed.
“Under the conditions we had on Monday evening, they were more than anyone could control.”
Mr White said the difficult terrain in East Gippsland would make it hard to get supplies into the isolated communities.
“We still have communities that are totally isolated that we haven’t heard from,” he said.
“We’re in a situation where we have a fire that is still out-of-control, but we’re also trying to get in to do recovery. Coordinating all that is an enormous task.”
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said on Tuesday that four people were unaccounted for after bushfires hit the state’s east and north.