The Blue Mountains Bushfire Mayoral Relief Fund has $3 million available from a combination of individual donations and financial contributions provided by Australian Red Cross, Anglicare and St Vincent De Paul.
“These organisations continue to work tirelessly on the ground to support the bushfire recovery efforts and for that I thank them. They have now reached out to further assist fire affected families who face huge challenges ahead, by supporting the Blue Mountains Bushfire Mayoral Relief Fund,” said Blue Mountains mayor Mark Greenhill.
“This is an overwhelmingly big hearted gesture in our time of need.”
Clr Greenhill announced the creation of the relief fund in the immediate aftermath of the fires with the intent of assisting individuals, families and communities directly affected by the October 2013 disaster.
An independent committee established by Blue Mountains City Council to oversee the distribution of the fund met for the first time last Friday, November 22. Chaired by Phil Koperberg, the committee includes former Macquarie MPs Bob Debus and Kerry Bartlett, Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area chairwoman Joan Domicelj, Blue Mountains City Council general manager Robert Greenwood and representatives from Australian Red Cross, Anglicare and St Vincent De Paul.
“The committee will meet again this week to start considering the criteria for the disbursement of funds, consistent with my intent of directly assisting those affected by the bushfires on their long road to recovery,” said Clr Greenhill.
“The committee recognises residents affected by the bushfires will need ongoing support during the difficult process of recovering from the bushfire disaster and rebuilding their homes and lives. In determining the principles and criteria for assistance, the Blue Mountains Bushfire Mayoral Relief Fund Committee will be guided by the needs of people affected by this disaster and will draw on the considerable experience of Australian Red Cross in managing emergency appeals nationally and internationally.
“Be assured I will keep the community informed of the committee’s progress and the progress of the fund itself.”
Clr Greenhill said it “is important for the community to know that Blue Mountains City Council will not deduct any funds from public donations for administration costs and all interest earned on donations will be invested back into the fund”.