Media Release: Report supports release of Celeste Barber’s money to communities 

31 July 2020 

The Parliamentary Committee inquiring into the proposed law that would allow the Celeste Barber bushfire donations to be expanded to those who most desperately need support has delivered a supportive report today. The report is here.

The laws would fix the NSW RFS donations mess by allowing the money donated through the Celeste Barber fundraiser to be used to assist the community, people who lost their homes and wildlife carers as well as firefighters and the RFS. 

Greens MP David Shoebridge will be bringing the bill on for a vote next week which would allow money to go to the most needy communities by the end of the week if the Parliament supports it. 

Greens MP David Shoebridge said: 

“Celeste started her fundraiser on 3 January and on 5 August we will be asking the Parliament to vote on ensuring the money raised can go where it’s needed most. 

“To date not one dollar from this generous donation has gone to injured firefighters or people who lost their home in the fires. That is just unacceptable.

“The first recommendation from this report is to set aside distinct funds to help those who helped us, and that starts with injured firefighters and the families of those firefighters who were tragically killed on duty. 

“The Government has been keen to pocket all this money to save money in the upcoming budget, but this report calls for the money to be shared more fairly.  

“The committee considered the issue at length including hearing from the RFS and the VFFA who had quite different plans for the money. 

“Celeste Barber’s submission to the inquiry clearly showed that her intention was that the money go where it is needed, and that means we need these legal changes.

“We call on all parties to support this simple and sensible bill and ensure help is provided where it is needed, and with no further delay,” Mr Shoebridge said.