Blue Mountains News

Further Donations Needed for Local Bush Fire Relief Fund

Source: Blue Mountains City Council
Posted: 25 Jan 2020
Photo (left to right): Joan Domicelj, BMCC Executive Business Manager Tracy Burgess, BMCC CEO Rosemary Dillon, Phil Koberberg and Mary Waterford.
The Blue Mountains Bush Fire Mayoral Relief Fund advisory committee elected on 23 January to direct the $28,500 raised so far directly to those most seriously affected this bush fire season.

Those who have lost homes will each receive $1500, as well as the owners of two homes that suffered severe damage. This money will be distributed during the week starting 27 January.

Mayor Mark Greenhill urged the community to continue to give to the Fund, so donations could continue to directly benefit Blue Mountains’ residents.

“I know a lot of people are exhausted. This bush fire season has gone on for so long, and there are so many places you can donate, so why is the Mayoral Relief Fund different? Because it’s local.

“That means money raised is guaranteed to go to local Blue Mountains’ residents who have been directly affected by the recent bush fires.

“It also has zero administration costs. The intention is for the dollars donated to benefit those people in our community, who need it most.

“$28,500 is a good start, but we need more to go to our residents who have been affected by these bush fires.”

The Blue Mountains Bush Fire Mayoral Relief Fund launched in December. This is the stage one action from the committee that includes:

  • The Hon Phil Koberberg AO AFSM BEM – First Commissioner of the Rural Fire Service (RFS) and former NSW Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Water
  • Joan Domicelj AM – Principal consultant on the original nomination for the Greater Blue Mountains Area (GBMA) World Heritage listing 
  • The Hon Bob Debus AM – Former NSW Minister for Environment and Minister for Emergency Services
  • Kerry Bartlett MP – Former Member of Parliament for Macquarie  
  • Mary Waterford AM – Blue Mountains advocate for equity, human rights and dignity, and
  • Dr Rosemary Dillon – Blue Mountains City Council Chief Executive Officer.

“The committee decided today, and I completely agree, that it’s more important to get that money where it’s needed now. It’s no use to anyone sitting in the Fund’s account,” Mayor Greenhill said.

“The more money the Fund receives, the more money we can distribute. So now is the time to donate, so we can continue to give to those in need.”

In addition to administering the Mayoral Relief Fund, Council is preparing a series of social wellbeing, environmental and waste, local economic and infrastructure initiatives, to help the community recover after bush fires.

19 homes were lost in the Blue Mountains this bush fire season, and more than 70 were damaged.

“We’ve spent time with these families and communities since before Christmas and what I can tell you is they are strong, and resolved to rebuild,” Mayor Greenhill said.

“Our job is to help them recover, together. That’s why the Mayoral Relief Fund is so important. It’s a way we can all support these families, and show them that we stand together.

“If you can donate, please do. This fund is the ultimate ‘Love Local’, and any amount is greatly appreciated.”

How to donate

Tax deductible donations can be made via:

  • PayPal (via the button on Council’s website)
  • Internet banking
  • Phoning or visiting Council
  • At any National Bank branch
 
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