ANDREW Forrest has announced a $70 million donation to help those affected by Australia’s bushfire crisis.
The donation will be made through The Minderoo Foundation, the charity established by the mining magnate and his wife Nicola Forrest.
The fund has three distinct areas: response, recover and resilience, and will include $10 million to mobilise specialist volunteers from Western Australia, $10 million in immediate bushfire relief funding and a $50 million investment to support the development of a long-term blueprint for fire resilience.
The unprecedented bushfire season, with large fires burning across the country, had devasted families, communities, industries and wildlife, the couple said in a statement.
“With incredible courage and determination, Australians have united to help those devastated by these bushfires,” Mr Forrest said.
“We can all be proud of the efforts we have witnessed across the country to support those fighting the bushfires, those affected by them, and those seeking to provide support to people and wildlife. We extend our deepest sympathy and hope to all those affected.
“At Minderoo Foundation, we want to provide immediate relief because, like so many other West Australians, we mourn the hardships of our fellow countrymen and women. We recognise that we don’t have all the answers, but we want to understand what communities need and do our bit to help them now and as they regroup in the coming months.”
Nicola Forrest said the tragic loss of lives, the scale of the destruction of homes and properties and the devastation to Australia’s unique landscape were difficult for many Australians to comprehend.
“In the weeks and months ahead, people directly impacted by these fires will need both practical and emotional support,” Mrs Forrest added.
“They will need time to grieve their loss and to deal with the trauma of the experience and they will need practical help to start the process of rebuilding their lives. While rubble that was once someone’s home might now be unrecognisable, it is still home.
“Beneath the ash, memories still exist, and these should be treasured. We hope Minderoo Foundation’s contribution will complement existing efforts, provide hope to those hurting and encourage others to help in any way they can – big or small.”
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Our country is in need. Now is the time to reach out and do what we can for one another. Today we launch the Minderoo Fire Fund. A comprehensive $70 million relief package designed to not only respond to the ongoing crisis and rebuild communities, but to establish long-term resilience by funding research into and applying new techniques in fire and disaster relief. The Fund has three distinct areas: Response- we’ve committed to mobilise volunteers from Western Australia to assist operations and relief efforts in Victoria, NSW and South Australia. Recover- we’ve allocated $10 million of initial funding to restore essential infrastructure, hubs, and community assets to rebuild communities and revitalise local economies. Resilience- we’re building long term resilience by convening leading experts to develop a globally relevant national blueprint for fire and disaster relief. Through the smoke there will be hope. Learn more at firefund.org