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At the very heart of how we work and what we value lies a fundamental desire to support communities. This year, we answered the call to assist Australian communities affected by drought and the bushfires.
Australian rural communities continue to be affected by the chronic impacts of long-term drought. In addition to the financial pressures, drought affects farmers personally, within families and across their communities. To help counter these effects, our retail centres and customers raised enough money to enable Rural Aid to deliver approximately 800 large bales of hay (about 27 semi-trailer loads) and 50 precious truckloads of water (approximately 19,000 litres) to 20 affected farming and rural communities.
The bushfires of Australia's black summer, in FY20, impacted communities across the country. Our response included a donation of $200,000 to our long-term community partner Australian Red Cross to help with emergency grants, repair grants and injury grants. The funds will also contribute to the Red Cross Bushfire Recovery Program which supports communities over the long journey to recovery.
In recognition of the long road to recovery for many of the impacted communities, we also donated $250,000 to the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal.
Our people gave generously and we dollar-matched their donations, resulting in $50,000 in donations to the Victorian CFA, South Australian CFS, New South Wales RFS, WIRES and the Australian Red Cross for their relief efforts. Many of our people also asked to volunteer, and we offered them up to 20 days paid leave to do that. These individual efforts were in addition to the investments we make in people’s time as part of our Pledge 1% initiative.
In recognition of the long road to recovery for many of the impacted communities, we also donated $250,000 to the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR). This will support the Strengthening Rural Communities program, which provides grants towards enhancing local community infrastructure and to restore and protect natural environments. These grants will be distributed over the next 12 months to help impacted communities determine their own recovery.
In response to the devastating bushfires, we contributed $500,000 to community organisations to support them in three ways: