In light of comments made by the New South Wales (NSW) Minister For Transport and Roads & NSW Legislative Assembly Member For Bega, Andrew Constance MP, we would like to point out to everyone that all the Sydney New Year’s Eve (NYE) 2019 donations have been used.
For our international readers, the electorate of Bega is on the south coast of New South Wales between Batemans Bay and the border with the state of Victoria and inland to but not including the Australian Alps/Snowy Mountains. The electorate of Bega especially suffered terrible bushfires on New Year’s Eve, resulting in at least 2 deaths.
Today, the Australian Red Cross announced they have allocated $30 million to victims out of a total $95 million raised since their Disaster Relief & Recovery Fund started (which was before December 2 2019).
The Minister admitted he himself will need trauma counselling & issued a challenge to the managing directors of 3 charities (including the Australian Red Cross) to come and see how people are living (The ‘Greg’ referred to is a local resident):
Meet me in Batesmans Bay at 8 o’clock on Saturday & I will drive you the 300 kilometres of devastation on the Far South Coast.
I will show you the people, you can look them in their eyes & you can see their despair and the destruction that this firebomb brought to our region.
They better turn up, they better have the guts to show up and be with me … I’ll show them communities which haven’t been on the map, like Kiah, like Nerrigundah, like the back of Bemboka, like Cooma.
We need a very real change, very quickly so that the money can get to those who need it most … people are on their knees and we can’t have a drip feed
I also think there is a disconnect between the people running these organisations & what is happening here in our community and that is why I want them here.
I wanted them to show them.
I want them to meet people.
I want them to look each other in their eyes, to see their pain, see the trauma and help & you know to see that report today of only a third of it going out.
I mean, that is just gutting.
I mean, people have given around Australia to Red Cross so that it gets in the hands of people who need it most & that is people who have lost everything.
You know, we have got in my electorate alone, 870 homes burnt to the ground, hundreds of displaced people, people who used to live in sheds and stuff there.
It’s all gone!
It is just gone!
Um, and, you know, every individual is different so, you know, to, to to Greg’s point, um, you know, the money is needed now, not to sit in a Red Cross bank account earning interest so that they can map out their next 3 years & do their marketing and for administration.
It is just heartbreaking.
The other 2 charities are The Salvation Army & Saint Vincent De Paul’s Society.
In a statement to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the Australian Red Cross said Chief Executive Judy Slatyer had been on the South Coast last week meeting with residents and had made “several attempts” to contact the Minister.
The Chief Executive Officers of St Vincent De Paul’s Society NSW & Canberra, Jack De Groot & Barnie van Wyk, have accepted the Minister’s invitation though.
The Minister also said he had met people who are so traumatised they cannot even leave their properties to register for relief.
Between NYE & January 6, $23 million was donated to the Australian Red Cross which was assistance by promotion of their Disaster Relief & Recovery Fund from Sydney NYE2019 & including $13 million from the television & Internet broadcasts of the event from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Before NYE, $6.3 million was also donated but the Australian Red Cross could not clarify if these funds were donated before or after December 3’s Sydney NYE media launch, which was when the event’s partnership with the Australian Red Cross was announced. They couldn’t clarify when the Fund started either but we assume it was sometime in spring (September to November).
The lack of clarification was understandably due to more important priorities (helping the bushfire victims) being allocated time.
Given $30 million was announced today and no more than $29.3 million was donated as a result of Sydney New Year’s Eve, it means the event’s donation appeal was a success and went to the people the donors wanted the money to go to.
It should be pointed out that the remaining $65 million of funds that are yet to be allocated were donated after January 6. That is mostly from the last 2 weeks. That is, roughly, on average, $4 million a day. Most of the donations before January 4 were below that average. January 4-6, though, most likely was over that average at around $7 million per day.
The bushfires since those apocalyptic-like NYE bushfires have not been as severe though most still burn. Some have thankfully being extinguished on the North Coast of New South Wales.
Thunder, hail & dust storms have been a feature of the past week resulting in lots of damage and bird life lost.
More wildlife (especially fish) have been lost due to bushfire ash contaminating waterways.
The iconic Australian animal, the platypus, is also considered by scientists to now be threatened by possible extinction.
Tomorrow, a total fire ban is enforced in most of New South Wales as severe fire danger is forecast with 40-43 degree Celsuis temperatures in Sydney.
Disclaimer: Sydney Spectaculars is not a charity, the organiser of Sydney New Year’s Eve or it’s broadcasts and did not receive any donations as part of their promotion of the Sydney New Year’s Eve 2019 donation appeal.