Billionaire’s staggering fire donation
Billionaire Australian businessman Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest has announced a $70 million bushfire recovery package.
The ABC reports the WA mining magnate will spend $50 million on a "national blueprint" for fire and disaster resilience to develop new approaches to fight the threat of bushfires.
He will provide $10 million through his Minderoo Foundation to build a "volunteer army" to deploy to regions devastated by bushfires and another $10 million for communities in collaboration with the Australian Red Cross and the Salvation Army.
"We are here representing a family and from our family to your families, your fire-affected families, the wildlife, the children who are devastated, the parents who have lost farms and properties and homes and dreams, we are here with our family to help support your family," he said at a press conference in Perth today.
"We are stepping up, as we did for the Black Saturday bushfires, to go out to the communities in SA, Victoria and New South Wales, find out what you need, what your families need, what your communities need and to help you, not rebuild to perhaps what you had, but to plan for what could be - what may be even better.
"I would just like to say, on behalf of all of the Minderoo Foundation and all West Australians, that we weep along with Australia, along with you and, as a family and as a foundation, we would like to step up and help you. Thank you."
#BREAKING WA mining magnate Andrew Forrest and his wife Nicola have donated $70 million towards the national bush fire relief and recovery effort.— Jane Norman (@janeenorman) January 9, 2020
The donations have come thick and fast this week from some of the world's rich and famous.
Actor Chris Hemsworth pledged $1 million on behalf of his family to bushfire relief, Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban jointly donated $500,000 to local fire services, and Kylie and Dannii Minogue said their family were handing over $500,000 for "immediate firefighting efforts" and ongoing support.
Australian comedian Celeste Barber had raised $47.7 million on Facebook by Thursday afternoon.
American singer Pink has donated $500,000 while heavy metal band Metallica yesterday made a $750,000 commitment to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service and the Country Fire Authority in Victoria.
Sir Elton John announced a $1 million donation at his Sydney concert on Tuesday night.
More to come