$52 million raised by Australian comedian Celeste Barber is in Limbo.
NONE of the $52 million in bushfire relief, raised by Australian comedian Celeste Barber, has so far been spent. This is due to the legality of RFS rules that state donations must be spent on firefighting equipment and training. Spending on families or charities is not permitted by law.
The $52 million was raised for the NSW Government, Rural Fire Services (RFS) section.
Both the RFS and Celeste Barber, want this money transferred to charities, so it can help people affected by the bush fires.
The RFS must handle all its financial dealings according to the laws applicable to NSW Government departments.
More about the RFS.
The RFS is an independent statutory authority under the New South Wales government, with the administration being a part of the larger NSW Public Sector.
The RFS comprises over 2,100 rural fire brigades with a total volunteer membership of approximately 72,000, located in over 150 centres right across NSW.
The RFS employees the equivalent of 911 full time staff.
In 2017/18 they attended 10,036 Bush/grass fires, out of a total 26,903 fires attended.