Red Cross Admits It Will Keep Some Money Donated To Bushfire Relief For 'Administration Costs'
Those who have given their hard-earned cash did so thinking it would go directly to someone who has had their livelihood ripped apart.
But the Red Cross, one of the lead organisations taking donations, has admitted that not every single dollar will get to those affected. It has revealed that more than $115 million has been sent to them over the past few months, which is a hefty sum of cash.
Your donations are hard at work right now: $15m in emergency cash grants and more to come, shelter + relief for people currently evacuated and a tailored recovery plan being developed for the next 3 years.
Find out more about our plan to help: https://t.co/0a2uBb7p17 pic.twitter.com/9ekQ2xhS1l
- Australian Red Cross (@RedCrossAU) January 13, 2020
On its website, the Red Cross has written a disclaimer at the bottom, which says: "Up to 10 cents in each dollar will be spent on administration support costs, including tracking donations, managing grants, collecting and analysing information, reporting to donors and meeting legal, privacy and protection obligations. Interest earned will stay in the fund."
The Red Cross says millions of dollars has already been allocated to areas like '24/7 support, evacuations, relief centres, deploying our emergency teams, training and wellbeing', as well as for people who have lost a loved one or their home.
But some residents, who have had their properties reduced to rubble, claim that haven't received a cent.
Robert Gorringe told 7News, he is still waiting to hear from the relief organisations after his property in the New South Wales Northern Rivers was destroyed.
"They made a lot of promises that they're going to do this, that and other, [but] I've received nothing, I have no idea where the money is going," he said.
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The Red Cross says $61 million of the $115 million will be spent on longer term recovery and support, however that decision has been mocked.
Emergency Services Minister, David Elliot, slammed the organisation for not shelling out more money for immediate support.
"My message to the charities is 'pull your finger out'," he said. "This is not a time for us to delay, particularly while people are hurting so much.
"To read that organisations like Red Cross are putting some of that money aside for a future crisis or emergency is not in the spirit of why I believe Australians gave that money.
"I believe that there has got to be a clear message to those organisations that that money must flow today."
Red Cross Director Noel Clement has told 2GB Radio their approach to the situation is what is needed to ensure that everyone gets the help they need.
He also defended the organisation against claims that the Red Cross is holding the money so that it can be prepared for a crisis in the future.
"I can assure you we're not withholding money for future disasters," Mr Clement said. "We know that there is immediate support needed and we're doing all we can to get money out there now.
"But we also know there are phases to this recovery and communities will need money as they're ready to rebuild, they'll need money at various points."
Featured Image Credit: PA