More than 180 fires are burning across the Australian states of Tasmania, New South Wales and Victoria. Some 100 homes have been destroyed along with farms and livestock. Smoke inhalation, burns and loss of life are major concerns.
Damage in Tasmania alone is estimated to be more than $26 million. The Western Australian and South Australian state governments have pledged $250,000 each to the bushfire relief effort.
Red Cross, who launched their Tasmanian bushfire appeal four days ago, has received more than $350,000 in donations. Hawthorn Football Club has pledged $10,000.
Word of Warning When Donating
However, government organisations offer words of warning when it comes with making donations, due to previous scams. During the 2003 Canberra and the 2009 Victorian bushfires scammers set-up fake websites to collect funds and prayed on the good intentions of many giving souls.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), warns people who are looking to donate to be wary before putting their hands into their pockets. As the ACCC state, “Charities are registered at state or territory levels – check with your fair trading agency to see if they are a genuine charity and are raising money for bushfire victims.” This will ensure that your funds are sent to the right organisation who will use the money appropriately.