09/02/2009 - 16:21

Big businesses donate to bushfire appeal

09/02/2009 - 16:21

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The devastation caused by bushfires in Victoria has prompted Wesfarmers and Telstra to dig deep, donating up to a combined $1.25 million so far.

The devastation caused by bushfires in Victoria has prompted Wesfarmers and Telstra to dig deep, donating up to a combined $1.25 million so far.

In separate announcements today, both companies said they will donate $500,000 each, with Telstra to match personal contributions made by its staff of up to $250,000.

Diversified company Wesfarmers said its divisions will provide other assistance with Coles to contribute food and donate this Friday's profits from its 750 stores across the country to the bushfires appeal.

Hardware division Bunnings will donate all proceeds from daily sausage sizzles in Victoria, Target will provide bedding and baby needs while Kmart will donate $100,000 to the Salvation Army.

"On behalf of the company, I wish to express my deepest condolences to those individuals and families who have been impacted by what has been an unprecedented national disaster," managing director Richard Goyder said.

Telstra chief executive Sol Trujillo also expressed deep sympathy for those affected by the bushfire tragedy.

"Telstra will also make a cash contribution of $500,000 to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal, as well as matching dollar for dollar personal contributions made by Telstra employees up to $250,000," Mr Trujillo said.

The bushfires have caused substantial damage to Telstra's telephone exchange and base station infrastructure, as well as to cabling.

"Thousands of phone lines and broadband internet connections are down," he said.

Telstra teams are working as quickly as possible to repair network assets and to restore connections and services but the full extend of the damage was not yet known, he said.

Meantime, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank has raised more than $1 million in just over 24 hours after it established a hotline for those wanting to donate to the bushfire appeal.

A Red Cross spokesperson said the organisation's website has been flooded with the public requests to donate money towards the appeal, so much so that the website has crashed.

The spokesperson said those that wanted to donate money through the website may need to wait until later tonight to do so.

If you would like to donate, you can visit the website at redcross.org.au


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