28/05/2008 - 22:00

Call for quake aid

28/05/2008 - 22:00


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Call for quake aid

The Australia China Business Council (ACBC) has launched an appeal for Western Australian businesses to donate funds to help victims of the May 12 Chinese earthquake.

WA branch president Duncan Calder has called on private and public companies to dig deep and help the Sichuan earthquake relief effort.

"You'll find the Chinese-linked business community as a whole is respected strongly in WA," he said.

"Please donate generously. We all express our sympathy and support to our Chinese friends and colleagues who have been affected by this devastating earthquake."

South Perth-based Dragon Mountain Gold Ltd has been operating in China since its incorporation in September 2004.

The mining and exploration company, which has 180 employees in China, operates 350 kilometres from the earthquake epicentre and suffered no structural damage or staff casualties. However, according to Dragon Mountain Gold's managing director Andrew Richards, 18,000 surrounding structures in the Lixian county on the Sichuan border weren't so lucky.

Mr Richards told WA Business News Dragon Mountain Gold had donated $500,000 to help affected businesses, and would match dollar for dollar any money raised by its employees in China to supply aid.

In a letter to its members, ACBC national chairman Kevin Hobgood-Brown said there was a role to be played by private organisations, as well as governments.

"We believe it is appropriate for the Australian business community to be involved in providing assistance given our substantial links in China, and the ACBC should take a leadership role in this process," he said.

WA Business News understands Andrew Forrest's Fortescue Metals Group, mining giant Rio Tinto and global resources company BHP Billiton have all donated to the relief effort.


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