Australian billionaire couple, Andrew and Nicola Forrest have pledged to donate NZ$72 million to Australian firefighters and bushfire relief.
The couple announced on Thursday their organisation, the Mindaroo Foundation, would donate AUS$10 million to specialist volunteers in Western Australia, AUS$10 million to immediate bushfire relief funding and AUS$50 million to support the development of a long-term blueprint for fire resilience.
"We are here representing a family and from our family to your families, your fire-affected families, the wildlife, the children who are devastated, the parents who have lost farms and properties and homes and dreams, we are here with our family to help support your family," Forrest told the press.
He said he and his wife are stepping up, as they did for the Black Saturday bushfires and are putting together a small army of 1250 skilled personnel from first-aid, emergency first responders, tradespeople, electricians, carpenters, project managers, construction and clean-up personnel.
"In the weeks and months ahead, people directly impacted by these fires will need both practical and emotional support.
"They will need time to grieve their loss and to deal with the trauma of the experience and they will need practical help to start the process of rebuilding their lives," he said.
The Mindaroo foundation advertises itself as an organisation that both supports and funds early-stage innovation, develop major programs on the ground in communities, and advocate for change at domestic and international policy forums.
Andrew Forrest began and gained success in the mining industry.
In 1994 he started his first mining company, Anaconda Nickel.
In 2019 he was ranked the seventh richest man in Australia by Forbes magazine with a net worth of NZ$13.2 billion.