Billionaire James Packer has contributed one of the biggest sums of money towards the bushfire crisis.
The casino mogul, on behalf of the Packer family and Crown Resorts Foundation, has donated a whopping $5 million to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service.
That’s in addition to the $1 million each year for five years that the group pledged in November. Mr Packer has announced that this donation will be made available this week, instead of having to wait each year.
He’s told the Daily Telegraph: “Australians are digging deep to support each other in these tough times, it’s truly inspiring.
“My family and Crown are eager to do more and the best way we can help, is to significantly increase our donation.
“We hope these funds play a small part in helping our fire fighters, and easing the suffering of people who have lost their homes and the poor wildlife caught up in the blaze. We just want to do our bit.”
Packer Family Foundation Chairperson Gretel Packer added: “Just like every Australian, we are so grateful to the extraordinary men and women who are fighting these fires.
“Their courage and heroism are breathtaking and inspiring; and the damage done to people, communities, animals and our wonderful country in the wake of these infernos is utterly heartbreaking.”
The Packers aren’t the only big name Australians putting their money where their mouths are.
Kylie Minogue recently revealed that her family has donated $500,000 towards the bushfire crisis.
Then when you add on Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban’s donation of $500,000, singer P!nk’s pledge of $500,000, and Aussie comedian Celeste Barber’s Facebook campaign, which has raised more than $40 million, you have a lot of money.
That’s not including all the other smaller fundraisers that are targeting local communities and groups.
The federal government has also stepped up with a $2 billion funding package that will directly help those affected by the bushfires.
The National Bushfire Recovery Agency will work with state and federal agencies to ensure that people who have been involved in the devastating crisis will be able to rebuild their lives.
“If further funds are required, further funds will be provided,” Mr Morrison said yesterday.
“We’re focused on the financial cost, we’re focused on the human costs, and ensuring we can do everything we can, as quickly as we can, to support that recovery effort.”
If you want to help those affected by the bushfires, click here.