Manufacturers support bushfire relief

Manufacturers have joined global efforts to support bushfire relief across Australia.

Explosives company Orica was the latest of a number of businesses to announce significant donations to rural firefighters and other charities helping communities recover from the Australian bushfire crisis.

On January 8, the company announced that it would donate $1 million to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal, the NSW Rural Fire Service, and via matching donations made by Orica employees to bushfire recovery and relief charities.

On Monday, January 6, steel manufacturer BlueScope donated $1 million to the Red Cross bushfire relief appeal and encouraged employees to follow suit. The company had been directly involved in fire relief efforts by facilitating naval vessels to use BlueScope’s berth at Western Port, in Victoria. Vessels were also able to refuel and resupply at the company’s dock.

Beverage manufacturer Coca-Cola Amatil has also assisted, by donating 250,000 bottles of water and energy sports drinks. According to managing director of Coca-Cola Amatil Australia, Peter West, the donation highlights how businesses can contribute in natural disasters.

“Business has a role to play in emergency situations, alongside government and others in the community,” he said.

Driving other contributions from businesses is the Business Council of Australia (BCA). The business lobby group has begun efforts to support vounteers who have lost their lives fighting the fires. Established in partnership with Equity Trustees, the Australian Volunteer Support Trust will channel business donations. The BCA is also creating a Community Rebuilding Initiative which will coordinate efforts between businesses and governments.

“This has been a devastating, frightening, and shocking time for Australia and our hearts go out to all of those who have lost so much” said BCA CEO Jennifer Westacott.

“We are so grateful for the efforts of our brave volunteers and emergency services personnel, just as we are proud of the efforts of the entire Australian community to support those in need,” she said.

“The BCA and the entire business community is in this for the long haul.”