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How to help with the NSW and Queensland bushfires

If you’ve been watching the nightmarish images on television about the Australian wildfires and feeling numb there is something you can do.

You can donate, volunteer or petition to support the people, communities and wildlife affected by the disaster.

Take a look below for some ideas.

Petition 

This catastrophe needs awareness and real action. Signing this ongoing petition from Change.org, could help.

It calls on Australian PM Scott Morrison to officially declare the Australian fires a national emergency. So far the PM has sent Australia backwards on its climate change policy, according to the 2020 Climate Change Performance Index, which ranked Australia last of 57 countries. In fact the coal-dependent economy, has one of the highest per capita greenhouse gas emission rates globally.

While bushfires are a natural part of the Australian cycle, the Bureau of Meteorology has said the rising heat has exacerbated drought which in turn has made dangerous fires more frequent and more intense. Petitions can enact real change, so don’t just sit on it; sign it.

Help people 

The Australian Red Cross is supporting communities affected by bushfires across NSW, Queensland, and South Australia. They are supporting evacuation centres for people who have lost their homes, providing emotional support and running a Register.Find.Reunite page. Donate here.

The NSW Rural Fire Service accepts direct financial contributions from the public. Local RFS brigades rely heavily on volunteers and contributions from their communities to sustain their efforts. You can use your credit card to donate to a local brigade, or to the RFS generally, via this link. Donations can also be accepted via bank transfer or cheque/money order. Details of the RFS bank account and addresses for cheques and money orders can be found here

The Salvation Army have set up a Disaster Appeal and are supporting people who have lost homes, require food, shelter and other essentials. 

Help wildlife

Port Macquarie Koala Hospital is helping to rescue koalas affected by the fires. The fires have caused huge damage to local koala populations. The hospital estimates as many as 350 koalas have died. It says about 75% of the fireground is in prime koala habitat. It is raising funds to purchase and distribute automatic drinking stations to reduce further death from dehydration.

Wireswildliferescue is the New South Wales Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service Inc. who rehabilitate and preservice Australian wildlife. With over 850,000 hectares of land being destroyed it is impossible to estimate the impact on wildlife in the area, ontop of habitat damage and drought.  On their homepage or if you search WIRES Australia NSW Fires the donation links for their emergency fund are ready for you.

Help farmers

There are plenty of charities that you can donate to help out the farmers. Here are just a few:

  • Drought Angels – donate to purchase food hampers, vouchers and feed. Click here to donate.
  • Buy a Bale – donate to purchase hay, water, groceries, and diesel. Click here to donate.
  • Aussie Helpers – donate to help provide farmers with equipment, food and emotional support. Click here to donate.

Organise and mobilise

Greta Thunberg can’t do it alone. You can get involved in lots of other ways, such as taking part in climate strikes and protests — no matter how seemingly small or inconsequential your contribution might feel, it does count. Just look here for where to find your local climate strike.

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