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Red Cross rejects accusations of holding bushfire money for future disasters

Neil Mitchell

The Red Cross has moved to assure Australians that donations made to assist bushfire victims will be spent on the crisis, rejecting accusations the charity will hold onto the money for future disasters.

It comes after a fired up Bega MP, Andrew Constance, urged the heads of Australian charities to take a trip through fire ravaged parts of NSW.

He slammed the charities for “drip-feeding” the money to the communities.

Director of Australian Programs at the Red Cross, Noel Clement, told Neil Mitchell the Red Cross has already allocated $30 million to immediate relief efforts.

To date, only $7 million has been spent.

Neil Mitchell questioned when the rest of the money will start to flow into the communities that need it.

“Our reply is absolutely, communities need money and our primary focus is getting assistance to people,” Mr Clement said.

“I am happy to clarify we are not setting funds aside for future disasters.”

Some of the funds will go towards teams on the ground in fire-ravaged communities, to support them over the next three years.

“At this stage, our focus is on individuals and families that have been impacted,” he said.

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Image: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Neil Mitchell