Mining magnates should donate more: Gonski

Prominent businessman and philanthropist David Gonski has called on mining magnates to dig deeper and donate more to charity

Speaking at a GivingWest breakfast, Gonski said changes in law and attitudes had set the stage for a rise in philanthropy in Australia.

According to PerthNow Gonski said Private Ancillary Funds (PAFs), a special trust set up for donating money, were one of the best ways to give back to the community.

While more than 900 PAFs around Australia raised close to $2 billion last year Gonski said only ten per cent had come from resource rich Western Australia.

“I have to say I hope that the mining magnates of your state will think favourably about forming such PAFs because if we could get three, four, five very large PAFs it will make the $2 billion look small,” he said.

PerthNow reports Gonski also called on corporations to encourage philanthropy, which they could use as a public relations tool.

Earlier this week Clive Palmer spruiked his philanthropy credentials whilst arguing against the Government’s mining tax, and said he had donated "more than a hundred times the Treasurer’s salary" this year.

WA-based mining magnate Andrew Forrest has donated numerous large sums to charity through The Australian Children’s Trust he started with his wife, which helps underprivileged children.

Last year he also gave more than $50 million of Fortescue Metals Group shares to various charities, and has also done extensive work on Indigenous employment through the Australian Employment Covenant.

Gina Rinehart, Australia’s richest person, also engages in philanthropy but tends to keep a much lower profile with her donations.

Image: The Courier Mail – Philip Norrish

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