Along with the loss of lives, home and wilderness from the 2019/2020 Australian bushfire crisis, hundreds of thousands of kilometres of fencing has been destroyed, costing an estimated $10,000 per kilometre to replace. More than 17 million hectares of land was burnt in the crisis, an area of land bigger than Greece.
BlazeAid is a volunteer organisation which grew out of the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria.
Founded by Kevin and Rhonda Butler, BlazeAid provides a way for retired farmers, tradespeople and others to volunteer on properties affected by natural disasters, including fires and floods.
In order to restock the landscape, properties devasted by the Black Summer fires need to rebuild fencing across thousands of acres of land. Our commitment of AU$250,000 enabled BlazeAid to accelerate the rebuild by stocking an additional 10 new specialist fencing trailers to increase their support of farming families in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.
We supported West Australian Fencing Farmers to deploy West Australian volunteers to Kangaroo Island to assist with bushfire rebuild efforts. WA Fencing Farmers is a grassroots group of volunteers including couples, retired farmers and allied industry workers.
With the help of our AU$200,000 commitment to BackTrack, they aim to boost employment prospects and social outcomes, while supporting disaster recovery. The BackTrack Works program provides around 20,000 hours of paid work across more than 300 projects each year. BackTrack has helped to repair farm infrastructure in northern New South Wales after Black Summer. Out of BackTrack’s broader program participants, 87 per cent subsequently move into full-time employment, training or education.