Some of the largest resource and energy companies, downstream distributors and utilities operating in Australia have or have committed to donating to help provide support and relief for Australian’s suffering from the bushfire crisis.
It is estimated that the 2019-20 Australian bushfires have already burned more than 10.3 million hectares of land, destroyed over 5,900 buildings (including over 2,000 homes) and killed at least 27 people.
Chris Dickman, a professor of ecology at the University of Sydney, also estimates that more than one billion animals have been impacted by bushfires nationally.
A number of companies have recently donated money, equipment and announced other measures to support fire-affected communities and wildlife as well as the efforts of the Australian firefighters.
Additionally, please find some links to charities and organisations mentioned (as well as others) at the base of this article.
APA Group has extended its paid leave for employees directly impacted by the fires, including emergency services volunteers.
It will also match employee donations to the Red Cross and WIRES up to $150,000.
APA Group is also making immediate donations totalling $100,000 pledging $50,000 to volunteer fire fighting organisations and $25,000 to each of the Red Cross and WIRES.
Laptops and other IT equipment have been donated to the Red Cross for operations facilities in the bushfire areas.
ATCO supports employees to take paid leave in order to volunteer for charitable purposes and will actively support employees who wish to use this volunteering leave to help the fire efforts.
ATCO will match employee donations to relevant charities related to the current bushfire crisis including donations from employees in the global ATCO network in Canada, the United States, Mexico and Chile.
On 7 January 2020 BP pledged $500,000 to bushfire relief which will be split between the Red Cross and the Salvation Army.
In December 2019, the company also donated $135,000 to seven charities: Australian Red Cross, The Salvation Army Australia, St Vincent de Paul Society NSW, GIVIT, Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service, Koala Preservation Society Australia Inc and the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS).
Caltex provides 10 days paid emergency services leave to all employees and is doubling all employee pre-tax contributions through the Caltex Employee Bushfire Relief Fund.
Caltex has been on the ground assisting local communities through local stores and distributors and in early December committed $25,000 in StarCash to the NSW RFS to be used by volunteers.
Caltex has been ensuring the safe delivery of fuel to emergency services and provided fuel for the Navy beach rescue mission in Mallacoota, Victoria.
On 6 January 2020, Chevron Australia announced an A$1 million donation to the Australian Red Cross to support their disaster relief and recovery efforts for the current bushfires across Australia.
Chevron Australia’s donation will assist the Australian Red Cross in providing support such as emergency grants to people who have lost their homes or whose homes are uninhabitable, specialist personnel in recovery centres and facilitating wellbeing and outreach activity.
The funding will also provide support to community events in bushfire-affected communities and assist households and communities to prepare for bushfires and other natural disasters.
The donation will be directed to the Australian Red Cross’ Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund.
In addition to this contribution, Chevron Australia will be matching employee contributions to the Australian Red Cross and will be providing employees currently volunteering in the firefighting efforts with full leave entitlements.
EnergyAustralia has doubled the number of paid volunteer leave days available to staff, providing 20 days paid leave to volunteers.
In addition, EnergyAustralia has pledged more than $100,000 to relief and recovery efforts and will suspend the accounts of affected businesses and families so people don’t have to worry about their power bills.
Jemena (and sister company Zinfra) is supporting team members who volunteer for emergency services by providing additional emergency services leave.
In addition, the company has also provided a financial contribution of more than $30,000, bolstered by staff fundraising efforts via their dedicated Red Cross fundraising page.
Origin has extended paid community service leave for an extra 20 days to volunteer firefighters.
In addition, the company has donated $300,000 to recovery and relief efforts.
Through the Origin Foundation, the company is matching employee contributions dollar-for-dollar.
Shell Australia will be donating $1 million to the Australian Red Cross to assist with the disaster relief and recovery efforts and providing paid leave for all emergency services volunteers.
On 7 January 2020, Woodside announced that it would be making a $250,000 donation to the Australian Red Cross (including employee dollar matching) and a $250,000 contribution to the Business Council of Australia initiative which will assist the families of any volunteer in Australia who loses their life through their volunteer work.
To help those on the frontline of the bushfire recovery effort, please find some charities and organisations which are accepting donations:
NSW Rural Fire Service – https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/volunteer/support-your-local-brigade
Victoria’s Country Fire Authority – https://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/about/supporting-cfa#donate-cfa
Australian Red Cross – https://www.redcross.org.au/
Salvation Army – https://www.salvationarmy.org.au/
St Vincent de Paul Society – https://www.vinnies.org.au/
GIVIT – http://www.givit.org.au/
Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund – https://www.gerf.org.au/
Port Macquarie Koala Hospital – https://www.koalahospital.org.au/shop/donation
RSPCA – https://bushfires.rspca.org.au/
WIRES – https://www.wires.org.au/