The past few months have seen Australia suffer. Across NSW, bushfires have ravaged on, burning and spreading at frightening speeds leaving the surrounding areas choked by the smoke. From barely visible skylines to blood orange towns, the fires have not only affected hundreds and hundreds of home owners, but also the poor and helpless wildlife. Mammals such as Koalas and Kangaroos, birds, reptiles and insects are all losing their homes and dying because of it.
Unfortunately that may not be the extent of the damage, as the bushfires could also prove to have major repercussions on the country’s entire financial climate.
With NSW having been declared in a state of emergency, Australia’s firefighters have since received a helping hand from New Zealand, the US and Papua New Guinea and our Pacific Island neighbours, who sent down their own firefighters to help contain and extinguish the devastating fires. It’s been a summer of praying for rain with this end of week thankfully providing just that. Still, it’s now past the point of hoping and praying for a change of weather, it’s time to act.
We are here to give support to those animals and owners whose lives, homes and futures have changed beyond measure as a result of this disaster,” says RSPCA NSW CEO Steve Coleman.
RSPCA NSW has outlined a four-step plan for relief and recovery amidst the damages.
1# Immediate response in communities: 1.3 million
RSPCA veterinary care has been provided across evacuation centres where animals are being treated, and resources such as food, medication and bedding are being provided. There’s also been close contact with rehabilitation groups to increase the amount of wildlife that is reached.
On top of that, a rising number of inspectors and veterinarians have been sent out to different regions with the aim of assisting with welfare checks on vulnerable animals and wildlife.
2# Emergency Assistance Fund: $1 million
The countless owners who have lost their homes are receiving financial support in order to help them get back on their feet. Additional support includes veterinary care for any animals that may have been harmed, emergency boarding and supplies.
3# Mobile emergency response unit and infrastructure: $1.2 million
In order to respond quicker and more effectively to disasters, emergency infrastructure has been increased. This includes a mobile emergency unit that can help the communities that are in crisis and serves as a relief point for those in need.
The units on the ground are equipped with satellite phones, breathing apparatuses, specialised vehicles and other equipment to ensure their safety and that they’re able to effectively communicate and reach areas in need of relief and support.
4# Wildlife welfare program: $500,000
This program will go towards investing in long-term critical care and rehabilitation for harmed wildlife. RSPCA will also look to partner up with local wildlife groups to assist in the rebuilding phase and the process of researching methods of re-establishing colonies.
All of this to help the animals in need.
It’s been estimated that over 1 billion animals have died at the hands of the bushfires.
“The number of species and ecosystems that have been severely impacted across their ranges is almost certain to be much higher, especially when factoring in less well-known species of reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates.” said James Trezise, a policy analyst at the Australian Conservation Foundation.
But according to Steve Coleman, the plan is to “continue to provide this support throughout the coming months as communities begin to rebuild.”
How could the bushfires affect Australia financially?
According to some economists, the bushfires up until now have costed Australia $2 billion. The sum is enormous and continuously rising day by day, which could force the Reserve Bank to lower interest rates in February as a means of insurance if ever Australia were to fall into a period of recession.
With hectares of land having been lost to the fires, agriculture in this devastating period has significantly faltered, and tourism rates have also severely dropped meaning that that a lot more is going out rather than coming in.
On the bright side, it is expected that these financial complications be short-lived, contrary to initial predictions, thanks to mining investment, high infrastructure spending and the process of rebuilding after the fires.
Just this morning, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that another $50M would go towards helping the people during this bushfire crisis.
He said that the most important thing is the “basics that people need right now”.
You can donate for the cause at:
- Australian Red Cross Disaster Recovery and Relief
- Salvation Army Disaster Appeal
- St Vincent de Paul Society Bushfire Appeal (NSW)
Or you can support the RFS volunteers
If you choose to support the RFS volunteers, you can donate directly to them here:
Any help will be greatly appreciated we’re sure because Australians everywhere are concerned and wanting to support those affected by the fires and those working to control them.