A 213-tonne convoy transporting 10 demountable buildings donated by ATCO through the BCA’s BizRebuild project will travel 357 kilometres to the bushfire devastated village of Mogo on Saturday, marking the start of work on the new Mogo pop up mall.

The temporary mall will house up to 10 local Mogo businesses, who lost their premises, equipment and merchandise when the village was hit hard by bushfires on New Year’s Eve.

The convoy will be greeted by the chair of BizRebuild, General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove (Retd), ATCO chairman and chief executive officer Nancy Southern, Business Council of Australia chief executive Jennifer Westacott AO, and Mogo Village Business Chamber president Richard Adams.

“The Mogo pop up mall is giving burnt out small business owners hope and reassurance that the Australian business community cares about them. We are doing everything we can to help regions like Mogo get back on their feet after the devastating fires,’’ Ms Westacott said.

“BizRebuild is determined to rekindle a sense of community in Mogo by rebuilding businesses and the local economy. The pop up mall will also generate much needed work for local tradesmen and suppliers.

“By helping businesses recover, we are building stronger communities. I am extremely proud of the overwhelming response from the business community to lend a hand during this time of need, including ATCO for generously donating the demountable buildings,’’ she said.

Sir Peter, who has led several domestic and international disaster recoveries, said “the business community’s response to the tragedy of these bushfires is philanthropic, compassionate and very practical in its approach’’.

“Businesses are the glue that keep people in a community, and we cannot stand by and allow small and local businesses to fail and communities to fade away,’’ Sir Peter said.

Business Council member ATCO is providing the demountable buildings to the Mogo community through BizRebuild. Sydney-based trucking contractor P&S Haul-Em is transporting them from Sydney to Mogo.

ATCO will provide footings for the buildings and will assemble them on site. The demountable buildings will be fitted out over the next three weeks by local tradesmen and suppliers.

Ms Southern said: “On behalf of the people of ATCO, I want to thank the Business Council of Australia for their leadership and rapid response to restoring communities devastated by the bushfires with the opportunity to get their businesses back on their feet.’’

“ATCO is very proud to offer our help to assist the community of Mogo,’’ she said.

The initial local businesses in the Mogo pop up mall will be: Roman Leathergoods, Boho Chic in Mogo, Alison Thomson Accounting & Taxation, Mogo Mutts, ABC Property Sales, and La Shabbie.

BizRebuild is a business-led initiative, developed by the Business Council to provide practical and on the ground assistance to small and local businesses left devastated by the bushfires.

It is the only fund in Australia specifically designed to help businesses recover as part of its mission to create jobs, rebuild stronger communities and restore thriving local economies.

The convoy of 10 trucks carrying 10 demountable buildings will arrive on Saturday. A further three demountable buildings, including two toilet blocks, will arrive earlier on Friday on two trucks in Mogo. All up, ATCO will provide 13 demountable buildings.

The Mogo pop up mall will be located next to the Mogo Day Surgery, not far from where the original businesses stood before they were destroyed.

BizRebuild will coordinate the construction of a temporary 30 metre x 12 metre modular building with a large roofed front veranda.

The pop up mall will operate until alternative arrangements have been made for local businesses, which is expected to take about 12 months to two years.

A 12 metre by 3 metre temporary building and toilet block will also be provided for the Mogo Local Aboriginal Land Council, which was also burnt out, and provides a range of cultural heritage, environmental, housing and education programs.

As part of the emergency response to the bushfires, Business Council members provided more than $55 million in cash donations and in-kind support to charities and other organisations.

BizRebuild is designed to be part of Australia’s long-term rebuilding and recovery effort following the initial emergency response, and its initiatives will complement the work of the federal government’s National Bushfire Recovery Agency and other charities.

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