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Mining billionaire pledges $70m bushfire relief and recovery donation

January 9, 2020 4:18 pm
WA mining billionaire Andrew Forrest

WA mining billionaire Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest has announced he will spend $70 million on a bushfire recovery package for fire-affected communities on Australia’s east-coast.

Through his Minderoo Foundation, Mr Forrest said he would provide $10 million to build a volunteer army of more than 1,200 people drawn from the mining and agriculture sectors to deploy to fire zones to assist in the rebuild of devastated communities.

Another $10 million would be spent in communities who need support in collaboration with the Australian Red Cross and the Salvation Army.

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A further $50 million will be spent on a “national blueprint” for fire and disaster resilience to develop new approaches to mitigate the threat of bushfires.

Mr Forrest said his team of first responders was ready to be deployed to communities in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

“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,” he said.

He said a bushfire recovery fund would be established to assist communities over the next two years and the public would also be able to donate to it.

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