Faqs

About the fire fund

What is Fire Fund?

Minderoo Foundation established Fire Fund with an AU$70 million commitment to support volunteer, recovery and resilience streams of work. Fire Fund has allocated:

  • Volunteer – AU$10 million to identify and mobilise volunteers to support clean up and recovery efforts.
  • Recovery – AU$10 million to provide direct, on-the-ground support for affected communities as they rebuild, with a focus on crucial grassroots projects identified by community members.
  • Resilience – AU$50 million to expedite and scale best practice solutions in wildfire and disaster mitigation and resilience to create a globally relevant blueprint.

How much money are you trying to raise?

Minderoo Foundation Fire Fund is calling on people and organisations around the world to donate and accelerate our capacity to deliver to communities. Fire Fund is seeking to raise matching funds for our Volunteer and Recovery streams and AU$450 million for resilience building.

Where are the funds being distributed?

Funds are being distributed:

  • Volunteer – We are mobilising volunteers through Team Rubicon Australia (TRA) to support disaster clean up and recovery.  We are supporting TRA to scale operations across the country and also covering travel and accommodation expenses for these specialised volunteers.
  • Recovery – To communities in states most seriously impacted by bushfires (South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria). Fire Fund has visited a number of communities to assess needs, including: Kangaroo Island and Woodside in South Australia; Armidale, Wytaliba, Tenterfield, Torrington, Drake, Moruya, Mogo, Malua Bay and Merimbula in New South Wales; and Mallacoota and Bairnsdale in Victoria.
  • Resilience – To build long term resilience by convening leading experts to develop a globally relevant blueprint for wildfire and disaster resilience. With the support of leading international non-profit environmental organisation Conservation International, these efforts are drawing on existing research and expertise in Australia and overseas to accelerate innovation and develop new approaches to mitigate bushfires.

Our website, firefund.org, is updated regularly on the progress of our efforts.

Who is eligible for funds?

Based on community consultation, Fire Fund will consider where help is most needed and what projects or infrastructure are urgently required. Fire Fund is committed to providing and expediting practical support at the grassroots level so immediate needs are met in a timely manner. Fire Fund is committed to working alongside government to complement its role.

We are collaborating with and assisting the many local, regional, national and international organisations that are providing relief to determine where the funds are distributed. We are working in collaboration with many of these organisations already.

The Resilience project will be impact driven and evidence based. There is exciting new technology at our fingertips, and we will harness this to place at-risk habitats and communities on a different trajectory. We will work with specialised partners after a rigorous due diligence process to ensure Fire Fund has lasting, systemic impact on national environmental policy settings.

Are you consulting with affected communities?

The Fire Fund team is on the ground and regularly speaking to and working with affected communities.

We have met with people who lost their homes, livestock, infrastructure and businesses and listened to their stories. Our approach is to listen to what people have suffered and respond based on their needs. We are delivering what people need now and in the medium and the longer term to rebuild lives and re-establish their communities for a stronger, more resilient Australia.

Why should I donate to Fire Fund?

There are many organisations doing fantastic work in providing emergency relief. Our immediate focus is on helping communities recover and rebuild. Minderoo Foundation has delivered for communities before in our response to the Black Saturday fires, the 2011 Queensland floods and the 2016 Yarloop fire in regional Western Australia. We move swiftly and practically to get projects moving in a timely manner that will allow communities to not just survive but thrive again.

There have been so many fundraising scams, how do I know what is legitimate?

Unfortunately, Minderoo Foundation Chairman Andrew Forrest and his family have had their images used in scams. To avoid scams, we suggest that you conduct due diligence on the organisations to which you wish to donate.

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission (ACNC) lists registered charities on its website. Minderoo Foundation is registered with the ACNC here.

If you believe you donated to a scam you should:

  • Contact your bank to report the transaction immediately;
  • Report the scam to the website on which it is hosted; and
  • Lodge a report with Scamwatch and consider other options to get help.

The ACCC has a dedicated phone number for the public to report bushfire related scams. People can call 1300 795 995 to report these scams.

Making a donation

Are donations to the Fire Fund tax-deductible?

The below is general in nature, does not take account of your individual circumstances and does not constitute tax advice. You should consult your own professional tax adviser regarding the tax consequences of making a donation in light of your individual circumstances.

Australia
If you make a donation through this site you will be issued with a receipt from The Minderoo Foundation Pty Ltd as trustee for The Minderoo Foundation Trust which is a Deductible Gift Recipient under Australian tax law. Donations above AU$2 may be eligible as a tax deduction under Australian tax laws.

International
If you are donating from outside Australia, you may not be able to claim a tax deduction in your jurisdiction using the receipt we issue you. We are actively working on a way to have receipts issued which may allow donors to claim a tax deduction in certain jurisdictions outside Australia and we will update this site when further information is available.

Are there any administration fees taken out of my donation?

Minderoo Foundation is meeting all expenses associated with raising and processing donations.

Is there a maximum or minimum amount that I can donate?

Donations can be made through this site for amounts up to AU$10,000. If you would like to donate an amount larger than AU$10,000, please contact us at help@firefund.org and we will be in touch to arrange direct payment.

Can I donate if I live overseas?

Yes. However, if you are donating from outside Australia, you may not be able to claim a tax deduction in your jurisdiction using the receipt we issue you. We are actively working on a way to have receipts issued which may allow donors to claim a tax deduction in certain jurisdictions outside Australia and we will update this site when further information is available.

What is your ABN # and registered name of your organisation?

The Minderoo Foundation Pty Ltd as trustee for The Minderoo Foundation Trust (ABN 24 819 440 618) (Minderoo Foundation) is specifically listed in the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth) as a Deductable Gift Recipient (DGR) organisation and is endorsed as an income tax exempt charity and entitled to GST concessions.

How can I ensure you don’t pass on my details to other organisations?

Please see our Privacy Policy for details on how we treat your personal information.

For how long will Fire Fund take donations?

Our experience helping communities after other disasters such as the Black Saturday fires and 2011 Queensland floods tells us that the rebuilding process takes years not months. We will continue to collect donations for as long as generous people continue to give.

How can I stay updated on what is happening with the money I have donated?

Regular updates about how funds are being used to support bushfire-affected communities will be provided via the firefund.org website. Additionally, as part of the donation process you can subscribe to receive email updates from firefund.org. We are also sharing updates through our social media pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

Volunteering your time

How do I volunteer?

Minderoo Foundation is mobilising volunteers through Team Rubicon Australia (TRA) to support disaster clean up and recovery. TRA is a veteran led disaster relief organisation that unites skills and experience of military veterans with first responders and everyday people to rapidly provide relief to communities.  If you are interested in volunteering, visit volunteer.firefund.org. For more information on Team Rubicon Australia, visit teamrubiconaus.org.

Can I claim expenses while I am travelling?

Minderoo Foundation will cover travel and accommodation expenses for volunteers.

Is there an age restriction on volunteering?

Yes. We will only accept applications from volunteers aged 18 years and older.

When will I be deployed?

Team Rubicon is deploying teams across the Australia continuously. Visit volunteer.firefund.org to complete the expression of interest form.  As part of this process you will be exposed to the upcoming deployments.

Recovery Pods

What is a recovery pod?

The recovery pods are stand-alone units with built in electricity, water, cooking and ablution facilities. Minderoo Foundation Fire Fund will be responsible for organising the delivery and installation of the recovery pods.

The pods have been designed with the needs of rural and remote bushfire victims in mind where homes and sheds have been destroyed and no alternative temporary accommodation is available.

How much will recipients have to pay for using a pod?

The recovery pods are provided rent free under a lease agreement. Recipients are required to pay for ongoing costs such as utilities (where available), diesel and water.

How many people can be accommodated in each recovery pod?

There are two models of recovery pod, one which includes two beds and one with four beds. They can accommodate individuals, couples or small families.

What happens when the recovery pod is no longer needed?

At the end of the lease – or earlier if the recipient has secured alternate accommodation – Minderoo Foundation Fire Fund will work with the recipient to arrange the retrieval of the pod. Removal will come at no cost to the recipient.

Where are the recovery pods being manufactured?

The pods are manufactured in South Australia by Australian Portable Camps.

NSW Collaboration

What is the temporary accommodation solution being proposed?

Minderoo Foundation is collaborating with the NSW Government to provide recovery pods, allowing those in need to stay on their own property while they rebuild.

How many recovery pods will be made available?

More than 100 recovery pods will be made available.

What areas in NSW will get them and what are the eligibility requirements?

Minderoo Foundation Fire Fund and the NSW Government are working closely with local councils and the Department of Housing to ensure the recovery pods go to those most in need and where the pod is suitable for their situation.

How long will the recovery pods be available and what will the terms of lease be?

The recovery pods may be provided to people for up to two years, which ties into planning amendments allowing temporary accommodation structures on private land for up to two years. The recovery pods are targeted at those with temporary accommodation needs and are not intended for long term use. Each recovery pod will be made available under a lease agreement between the recipient, Minderoo Foundation Fire Fund and the NSW Government.

How can people express a need/interest in accessing this program?

People most in need have been identified through the NSW Government’s Disaster Relief Grants program. Minderoo Foundation Fire Fund and the NSW Government are working closely with key stakeholders, including local councils and the Department of Housing, to determine how best to allocate the recovery pods.

Is planning approval needed for the recovery pod to be placed on private property?

A range of planning changes have been implemented to assist communities recover from bushfires which allow for the placement of the recovery pods on private property. More detail on these changes can be found at https://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/bushfirerecovery

How much is this project costing?

Minderoo Foundation Fire Fund and the NSW Government will each invest up to $2.5 million into the program.

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