An appeal for flood-effected residents in Lismore has already reached $140,000 after being officially launched yesterday.
Lismore Toyota chipped in $20,000 at the official launch, and an anonymous donor had contributed $10,000.
News has just come in that Suncorp has donated $50,000.
Suncorp’s CEO Customer Platforms Gary Dransfield said ‘It’s heartbreaking to see the devastation in the region, but the community spirt in Lismore is incredible.’
Mayor Isaac Smith said he was humbled by Suncorp’s generosity and other donors, with people donation from $5 to $10,000.
‘I am completely blown away by the generosity of Suncorp,’ Mayor Isaac Smith said.
‘We want this money to help those worst-affected by the flood. For Suncorp to see just how tragic the circumstances are and to donate such a huge sum makes me so grateful. We thank them for their help and community spirit. The whole of Lismore says thank you.’
The appeal, which went live on Tuesday afternoon, has been receiving donations from across Australia and hopes to raise $500,000.
Appeal Committee chairperson, Lismore City councillor Eddie Lloyd, described the response as incredible.
‘Even before the appeal was set up, the council was receiving enquiries from all over Australia from people wanting to help out,’ Cr Lloyd said.
‘The people of Lismore are not alone – we have the love and support of a whole country with us, and we will rebuild our community.
‘We are so grateful to those who have donated already. Lismore Toyota has set the bar high with its wonderful and generous contribution, but every single cent that we can raise will make a difference.
‘There is long journey in front of us, and I encourage everyone to dig deep and make a contribution to the Appeal if they can.’
Mayor Isaac Smith said the Lismore Flood Appeal was being coordinated by the council on behalf of the community. He said with donations pouring in, the council has raised the initial $100,000 target to $500,000.
‘We’re looking at holding at least one major fundraising event in the near future, and a number of local organisations and businesses are looking to hold small fundraising events as well,’ Isaac said.
‘We’re also putting together a steering group with local community leaders to manage the Appeal, and to make important decisions about how to best distribute the funds raised.’
There are a number of ways people and organisations can contribute to the Lismore Flood Appeal.
They can donate at www.gofundme.com/lismorefloodappeal or deposit money directly into the Lismore City Council Flood Appeal Account at BSB: 062-565, Account: 10864633.
Donations will also be taken over the counter at the council’s offices in Goonellabah.
Suspend foreign aid
Meanwhile, Page MP Kevin Hogan has called on the government to temporarily suspend foreign aid.
‘We have had a major natural disaster occur in a number of regions, including mine. I believe charity should begin at home,’ he said.
‘Given the damage done in my community, large sums of money will and have been directed here.
‘Once areas are rebuilt, foreign aid can be reinstated.
‘I am sure other countries which receive this aid will understand.
‘There is a lot of money which will flow to the disaster areas, but it should not be at the expense of other domestic priorities or increased debt.’