Billionaire James Packer and his family have revealed they will be making a generous donation to rural fire services and wildlife organisations across Australia amid the ongoing bushfire crisis.
The casino mogul told News Corp Australia a sizeable $4 million donation, split between the Packer Family Foundation and the Crown Resort Foundation, would be paid this week. It comes after Packer already pledged $1 million over five years to the NSW Rural Fire Service but this too will be made available this week.
“Australians are digging deep to support each other in these tough times, it’s truly inspiring,” Packer told News Corp Australia. “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 firefighters, 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’s sister and foundation chair Gretal Packer added their donation will be directed to firefighters, and those caring for affected communities and wildlife.
“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,” she said.
Many other celebrities have also pledged their support to rural fire services across Australia and donated large sums of money to help with the rescue and firefighting efforts.
Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban revealed they would be making a generous donation to rural fire services across Australia, as Nicole wrote on Instagram: “Our family’s support, thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by the fires all over Australia. We are donating $500,000 to the Rural Fire Services who are all doing and giving so much right now.”
American pop star Pink announced on Instagram that she had donated US$500,000. She said: “I am totally devastated watching what is happening in Australia right now with the horrific bushfires. I am pledging a donation of $500,000 directly to the local fire services that are battling so hard on the frontlines. My heart goes out to our friends and family in Oz.”
While Aussie tennis star Ash Barty revealed she will be donating any prize money she wins at the Brisbane International competition to those affected by the blazes. Speaking on Sunday, she said: “It’s just a really tough time … tennis is a sport, it’s a game that we play, and there are certainly a lot of bigger things going on in Australia right now that we need to take care of.”