Lawyers called in over $52m bush fire fundraiser

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 17 Feb 2020, 11:08AM
Celeste Barber's $52 million NSW Rural Fire Service donation has yet to help a single person. Photo / Getty Images

Lawyers called in over $52m bush fire fundraiser

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 17 Feb 2020, 11:08AM

Comedian Celeste Barber made headlines all over the world with her record-breaking bushfire appeal, which raised $52 million for the NSW Rural Fire Service.

However, no one has yet received any money and now lawyers for Barber and the NSW Rural Fire Service have been called in to try and come up with a solution.

The money has been locked under RFS rules that dictate donations must be spent on firefighting equipment and training, not on families or charities, according to the Sunday Telegraph.

RFS spokesman Ben Shepherd says the service wants to distribute the money according to Barber's wishes, and lawyers will work to find a way.

"No one is being bad about this, it's all very amicable, and we will try and see her wishes through," he told the Sunday Telegraph.

"But, as it stands, the RFS is the beneficiary and we can't donate money people gave us to other charities."

Barber is preparing to host the big Fire Fight Australia bushfire relief concert in Sydney today.

It will feature performances from Queen + Adam Lambert, Olivia Newton-John, kd lang and Alice Cooper.

Profits from the concert will go to the Red Cross disaster relief and recovery fund, rural and regional fire services, as well as the RSPCA bushfire appeal.