$13.3 million raised for bushfire relief through New Year’s Eve fundraising drive

City of Sydney

The City of Sydney, ABC News and Red Cross Australia New Year’s Eve fundraising drive raised $13.3 million for the Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund in the lead up to New Year’s Eve and concluding on midnight 4 January, 2020.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore welcomed the huge showing of generosity and support for those in bushfire-affected regions across the country.

“We did not make the decision to go ahead with the New Year’s Eve display lightly, and those suffering from the impacts of the bushfires were front of mind through the event,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

“We made the decision to channel the positive energy of the event to help Australian communities who have been hit hard by the bushfires, by encouraging those watching to donate to the Australian Red Cross disaster recovery and relief fund.

“Reminders to donate to the bushfire appeal and tributes to our brave firefighters were projected onto the Harbour Bridge pylons and broadcast throughout the ABC’s sensitive live coverage. Thank you to everyone who gave so generously to support the Red Cross’ important work.”

The donations are on top of the $620,000 the City has already donated to bushfire and drought relief and wildlife rescue. The City is now helping coordinate metropolitan councils sending water trucks, other service vehicles and staff to help with bushfire relief and post-emergency clean up.

Australian Red Cross Acting CEO Noel Clement said the funds raised would see an increased response to the unfolding disaster.

“We can ramp up our response and recovery work and expand our emergency grants. This fund has already helped us support people at evacuation centres, recovery hubs and over the phone when disasters strike,” Mr Clement said.

“It’s now providing cash grants to people who have lost their homes in the recent bushfires, so they can meet everyday expenses. It helps our emergency volunteers get to disaster-affected areas, covers their expenses and funds equipment and training. It means we can be there whenever a disaster strikes and stay afterwards to help people and communities recover.”

The Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund remains open and donations can still be made at any time via redcross.org.au. The overall amount raised by the fund, including the City of Sydney and ABC donation drive is more than $25 million.

Donations can be made here: https://www.redcross.org.au/campaigns/disaster-relief-and-recovery-donate

/Public Release.