Fortescue Metals Group and Minderoo Foundation chairman Andrew Forrest has pledged $70 million for the Australian bushfire crisis.
The Minderoo Foundation fire fund has pledged $10 million to mobilise specialist volunteers from Western Australia, $50 million to support development of a long-term blueprint for fire resilience and $10 million in immediate bushfire relief funding.
Additionally, Forrest and wife Nicola have also committed to match every dollar donated to the fire fund with two dollars.
The Minderoo Foundation founders said they recognised the “incredible courage and determination” of Australians uniting to help others in devastation this bushfire season.
“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,” Andrew 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 those affected.”
Nicola Forrest added, “In the weeks and months ahead, people directly impacted by these fires will need both practical and emotional support.
“While rubble that was once’s someone’s home might now be unrecognisable, it is still home. Beneath the ash, memories still exist.
“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.”
As well as providing immediate relief to the affected communities, Minderoo Foundation is investing in climate change, mental health, science and technology, environmental conservation, water security and land management and addressing the factors that contribute to natural disasters.
Fortescue Metals Group has donated $1 million to the Minderoo Foundation Fire Fund.
Fortescue chief executive Elizabeth Gaines said the company values of family and safety were a reminder to look out for mates and extend support to fellow Australians in a time of need.
“It is heartbreaking to see the devastating impact the bushfire crisis is having on people, communities and wildlife across Australia,” Gaines said.
“Our thoughts are with those affected and the emergency personnel fighting these fires.
“We will be donating $1 million to the Minderoo Foundation Fire Fund which will not only provide immediate relief to communities impacted by the bushfires, but also assist with long-term recovery efforts.”