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Aussie Billionaire Andrew Forrest Donates $70 Million To Bushfire Relief

by : Cameron Frew on : 09 Jan 2020 13:32
Aussie Billionaire Andrew Forrest Donates $70 Million To Bushfire ReliefAussie Billionaire Andrew Forrest Donates $70 Million To Bushfire ReliefPA Images

Some celebrities have set up fundraisers, others have pledged $1 million. But this billionaire is pulling out the big guns for Australia’s bushfire crisis, donating $70 million to the relief effort. 

Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest, a billionaire mining magnate, has announced he will spend $70 million on a wildfire relief package to assist with the country’s ongoing crisis.

As both the founder of Fortescue Metals Group and Minara Resources – one of Australia’s biggest nickel mining companies – Forrest has a net worth of more than $8 billion. His donation will come from the Minderoo Foundation, set up by him and his wife Nicola.

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Check out the video of Forrest describing his plans for the donation below: 

Since September, at least 25 people have been killed as a result of the bushfires, along with more than a billion animals.

Forrest outlined his plans for the pledge: $10 million will be spent on assembling a volunteer force of more than 1,200 people from the mining and agriculture sector, while another $10 million will go into relief funding in communities in dire need of support, in collaboration with the Australian Red Cross and the Salvation Army.

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Bushfire AustraliaBushfire AustraliaPA Images

Forrest said, as per ABC News

We are putting together a small army of 1,250 skilled personnel from first-aid, emergency first responders, tradespeople, electricians, carpenters, project managers, construction and clean-up personnel. Communities when they’re plagued by that much grief think automatically about just getting back what they’ve just lost. Unfortunately that is impossible.

This is not a zero-sum game, this is a disaster and my family will react to the scale of the disaster.

In an official statement from the Minderoo Foundation, a $50 million investment was also announced, set aside to ‘support the development of a long-term blueprint for fire resilience’.

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Andrew Forrest BillionaireAndrew Forrest BillionairePA Images

The statement explains: 

Minderoo Foundation’s Fire Fund project will also invest in building long term resilience by convening leading experts to develop a globally relevant national blueprint for fire and disaster resilience. Minderoo Foundation will establish this project in early 2020 and launch a global effort to engage contributors and funders to raise approximately $500 million.

While Forrest acknowledges they’ll never be able to make Australia fire-proof, he wants to ‘be able to mitigate them to be able to respond to them immediately and prevent the loss of life’ seen over the past few months.

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Guy Donates Crate of Beer To Exhausted Firefighters Battling Raging BushfireGuy Donates Crate of Beer To Exhausted Firefighters Battling Raging BushfirePexels

Since the crisis began, more than 100 people have been arrested across the country for bushfire-related offences. Forrest has taken note of this, but maintains climate change is the driving force in the infernos.

Forrest added: 

Arson may be responsible for starting fires in some cases, but it is not the reason the fires have reached the proportions they have through this season and it is not the reason they have continued for so long.

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A number of celebrities have also donated large amounts of money to the crisis, including MetallicaElton JohnChris HemsworthKylie Jenner and P!nk, while Ellen DeGeneres launched a GoFundMe to raise donations.

You can donate to the Australian Red Cross here. Alternatively, you can donate to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service here, or the Queensland Fire Service here.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: News, Australia, Billionaires, Bushfires, Climate Change, Wildfires

Credits

ABC News and 1 other
  1. ABC News

    Mining billionaire Andrew Forrest pledges $70 million bushfire relief and recovery donation

  2. Minderoo Foundation

    MINDEROO FOUNDATION PROVIDES FUNDS AND RESOURCES TO BUSHFIRE RESPONSE, RECOVERY AND RESILIENCE