Why haven’t all our public donations reached bushfire victims?

South Australian bushfire victims believe the state government isn’t doing enough to help get communities back on their feet. They

South Australian bushfire victims believe the state government isn’t doing enough to help get communities back on their feet. They are calling for politicians to visit devastated parts of Pinery, a region outside Adelaide.

Just $60,000 has been paid to families affected by the recent Pinery fires. However curiously, the government received almost $2 million in State Emergency Relief donations from the public.

Fires swept through Pinery just before Christmas, killing 2 people and leaving 91 without homes. The devastating bushfires ravage over 85,000 hectares of land. Residents say the government response since then has been inadequate.

Local resident, Ms Rachel Thistleton told newspapers, “we are disappointed in the lack of financial assistance, support and services the government has provided in comparison to other Australian states”.

Ms Thisleton is now launching a petition, calling for an independent inquiry into the government’s response last month. The idea is gaining traction via Ms Thisleton’s community Facebook page, Adelaide Fires 2015.

As those of you who have followed my page for sometime will know; I always try to keep posts positive and uplifting….

Posted by Adelaide Fires 2015 on Monday, December 21, 2015

“The many residents we have and continue to assist do not feel supported and many question how they can be treated so differently to residents affected in other states. Our response is like a third world country”, Ms Thisleton said.

Residents want a visit from South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill, and Emergency Services Minister Tony Piccolo. “Come up — it means a lot to people”, said local farmer Thomas Shanahan.

“You have to be on the ground or at the coalface occasionally as a leader… When was the last time the Premier has driven up and seen the average person? We are within an hour north of Adelaide”.

“The government needs to come out with a package that allows farmers and conservationists to regenerate properties”, Mr Shanahan added about current bushfire relief packages.

However, government spokespersons have claimed that supporting regional South Australians will be a “significant ongoing expenditure”. They claim more than $20 million has been committed to this cause already.

Do you think politicians are doing enough to support bushfire victims? Do you believe more of the $2 million State Emergency fund should be given to Pinery residents? How would you cope if you lost everything to a blaze?


  1. If $2m has been donated to assist bushfire victims then it should be used for that purpose. One hopes it will not go into ‘consolidated revenue.’

  2. I think the caretakers of these donations have a lot to answer to, put the money where it is supposed to go

    • Hi Lyn I have heard some stories about lots of charities all of the money never seems fairly distributed even animal charities,this makes me think twice about helping charities

    • I used to work at a charity and I would never give to them again, it was a real eye opener

  3. Millions were donated to the victims in the Newcastle earthquake in 1989 many of those injured people have still not received a cent and there has been no investigation into it. It is time that whoever is collecting fund for these ALL disaster victims are held accountable

    • There is supposed to be money still being witheld from Cyclone Tracey….1974 long time and alot of interest by now.

    • We were affected by the 1998 floods in Wollongong. Our insurance company never did pay up. Donations were distributed and when there was some left over redistributed. It wasn’t much, but helped because we felt people cared. Perhaps donations should go through local, not state government, as ours did.

    • it is wrong Jeanette and Margaret and how many times has it happened that we don’t know about?

    • The money goes to NGOs. My husband was a voluntary unpaid director of Life Without Barriers in 1980s/90s, along with a lot of other good Newcastle people. And then it became a NGO with people paid at public servant rates. And then, one day in Mitchell St Darwin, there was Life Without Barriers as an employment provider, not what we helped set up for young peopLe with disabilities in Newcastle.

    • Yes the Newcastle City Council is still holding onto that money. The people who needed it have got on with their lives and given up on it.I never donate to these things anymore unless there is a guarantee that it goes directly to the people who it is meant for.

    • So people who want to help try to by donations but somewhere it just goes missing, not good

  4. If the Government has it, they can kiss that money goodbye, that will go into their rorting fund

    • I thought they gave everyone cash to start off with and then more at a later date. What the heck is holding them back?

    • I thought so too Lee. I reckon it should go to Local gov. and have a local gov official oversee it. This happened in the 98 floods in Wollongong.

  5. Every cent that has been collected should go to the victims, it’s a shame that this is happening because when I give a donation I EXPECT it to go to the cause NOT THE BLOODY GOVERNMENT. This practice will result in people giving less or not donating at all because we can not trust the out come.

  6. the government want there cut first then everyone down the line & at the end they would be lucky to get 40 cents in the dollar

  7. The same problems after the Black Saturday fires in Victoria in 2009. So much money donated by the public and so much delay and kerfuffle getting that money to the victims. Basic humanity lost among arguments about aid to the uninsured vs the insured. Lots of promises and lots of delay.

    • I gave nothing to the general appeals at that time, instead made a substantial donation directly to our local CFA brigades who helped in fighting the fires.

    • I have friends who lost everything in the Black Saturday fires and received nothing

  8. I remember when darwin was devastated on xmas eve in the mid seventies my mother donated her whole pension to the relief fund and it was revealed later that lot of that money went missing

  9. So many of these “charities” are nothing but scams. Look at what happened to the Shane Warne charity. All that money given and a small fraction of it went for benevolent purposes. The money gets swallowed up in salary and perks, fancy car etc for the managing director. In Shane Warne Fund case most of it went on lavish dinners and parties.

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