Oz Day spirit on tap at Dunalley

Written By miftah nugraha on Rabu, 23 Januari 2013 | 19.55

Prime Minister Julia Gillard posed with firefighters Jose Navarro, Joe Templeman and Simon Leonard at the Dunalley pub earlier this month. Picture: LUKE BOWDEN

THE unofficial headquarters of bushfire-hit Tasmania's community effort will be the centre of the state's Australia Day spirit on Saturday.

The Dunalley pub, which provided refuge from the fires that tore through the bayside town and has been a meeting place for locals and support workers since, will host a concert to raise money for the recovery.

Falls Festival sound engineer Dave Campbell, who has organised the outdoor gig, says anywhere from 500 to 5000 people could turn up.

"I'm calling it the official (benefit concert) because it is the only one here in the local area," he said.

"This is the only one actually in ground zero."

Seven local bands have been officially booked but a spot has also been reserved for a high-profile mystery guest.

"We're expecting a surprise guest but we don't know who," Mr Campbell said.

"There's a lot of people interested, they're just trying to check their schedules to see if they can sneak in after their other commitments on the day.

"I don't want to mention names."

Mr Campbell had the idea for the concert while talking with his muso mates at an evacuation centre on the Tasman Peninsula.

He was one of the lucky ones -- his home at White Beach was not among the 170-odd that were lost across Tasmania.

"Everyone's sort of looking forward to it as a release, a bit of relief, just some fun and just to take their minds off everything," he said.

"We're not going to focus on the bad things that have happened."

The gig threatens to overshadow the area's official Australia Day beach barbecue but Sorell Mayor Kerry Vincent, who admits he's barely had time to think about formalities, isn't concerned.

"It's just an explosion at the moment of public enthusiasm and you don't want to stop that," Cr Vincent said.

He said the Australian spirit had shone through in the relief effort, with examples like Dunalley's oyster growers pooling their equipment to help those who were wiped out.

"They're all swapping and changing things around to keep one another going," he said.

"Everybody's in awe of what everybody's doing."

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