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Business help rolls in for Bali victims

BUSINESSES across all sectors have found ways to offer assistance to those most affected by the October 12 Bali bombings.

While Clinical Cell Culture, or C3, has been at the forefront of burns treatment with its innovative spray-on skin technology and companies have boosted appeals funds, help has also come in the form of goods and services.

C3 director Phil Rees said the company had brought forward some equipment purchases to help meet the needs of the number of Bali burns patients requiring treatment.

He said the technology, used in Royal Perth and Princess Margaret Hospitals, was well proven and had been used extensively in WA.

Mr Rees said the surgeons were comfortable with the technique, as it was a standard protocol for treatment in WA.

The treatment, which grows new skin from patients’ skin, was particularly applicable to patients with burns over a significant percentage of their bodies.

“Only a postage stamp-sized piece of good skin is required,” Mr Rees said.

He said the company had received expressions of interest for its technology, driven by the profile it had received in news reports over the past two weeks, however, no direct orders had been placed.

Mining heavyweight BHP Billiton kicked in with $200,000 for the Australian Red Cross Appeal.

A Red Cross spokesman in WA said the organisation had been inundated with generous support, with more than 100 individual calls from corporate groups offering further assistance.

The group’s corporate blood donor van, which picks up and returns employees willing to donate blood, is now booked until mid-November.

The Salvation Army, which has been rushed with offers, is still taking donations to send directly to its Denpasar office but has put a hold on taking more supplies and equipment.

Unions WA and Union Aid Abroad met earlier this week to determine how best to alleviate the consequences of the blasts.

WA-based retailer Jim Kidd Sports opened its two Perth city stores last Sunday afternoon with voluntary help from staff. Total takings from the 3,000 customers that visited its stores – $103, 261 – went to the Lord Mayor’s WA Bali Casualties Appeal.

Dale Alcock, which offered to coordinate the construction and fit-out of new club rooms for the Kingsley Football Club that lost several players in the Sari Club, has been flooded with calls of assistance. A Dale Alcock spokeswoman said the company had received multiple offers for some services.

She said all possible materials and services had been offered ranging from earth-moving equipment, air conditioning, security, plumbing, roofing, and lighting.

The spokeswoman said that in addition to free labour, businesses had been willing to donate bricks, tiles, on-site toilets, limestone, paint, carpets, cabling and hot water systems. J Boag & Son has offered beer as a thank you to all contractors who will be involved.

J Boag’s State manager Matthew Clark said the company had struggled with how to make a response that would really help in the after-math.

For almost two weeks Qantas has operated additional flights into and out of Denpasar and Jakarta to transport the injured, supplies and service personnel, and to evacuate those wishing to leave.

Qantas also waived conditions on tickets from Bali to Australia, waived cancellation fees, and offered refunds.

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