The Firefighting Volunteers May Not Get A Cent Of Celeste Barber's Bushfire Fund

The lawyers are coming in hot.

There’s not really much good news to come out of the Australian bushfires, especially when the PM is botching it left and right. Having said that, one of the bright spots of news has been Celeste Barber’s wildly successful fundraiser for the trust for the NSW Rural Fire Service & Brigades Donations Fund.

At the time of writing, the Celeste Barber’s fundraiser has banked nearly $48 million, making it the largest fundraiser in Facebook history, which is absolutely ridiculous considering that the campaign has only been up for less than a week.

This is fantastic news by almost all measures and the response from all involved has been a bright spot in the charred wasteland of bushfire news.

But in a final twist that shows why we can’t have nice things even in the face of terribleness, there’s a possibility that not a cent of this money from Celeste Barber’s fundraiser will go to any of the volunteers or families firefighters.

According to The Australian, legal experts state that the NSW RSF’s trust – which is where the donations from Celete’s fundraiser is going to – only allows spending on training, resources and equipment for the RSF.

This means the money raised can’t be spent on volunteers, families of injured or deceased firefighters, and other organisations, which includes interstate volunteer firefighting brigades. Talk about kicking a country while it’s already down and on fire.

Having said that though, a spokesperson for Celeste has confirmed to The Australian that she’s in “talks with the RFS” regarding the distribution of the funds.

This is all an unfortunate hurdle but it’s not the first time a big fundraiser has been caught up in a legal minefield, even if this is one that was done with the best of intentions. Still, there’s still a chance this could all work out well in the end.

In addition to the ongoing chats between Celeste Barber and the RFS, Paypal could play a part in how the donations from the fundraiser will be distributed as the money is being held by the company’s Giving Fund Australia before it gets transferred to the RFS.

The Australian reports that Paypal could negotiate with both Celeste and the RFS over whether some of the donations could be distributed to those other than the RFS before the money is transferred over, so it’s not quite over just yet.

A last resort would be an urgent reform to the NSW Rural Fires Act to allow the RFS to distribute donations to volunteers and other organisations, which is a move NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge has called for and highlighted the fact that a heap of donors who donated to Celete’s fundraiser would not have completely understood the conditions of the RFS trust.

It all ultimately remains to be seen how this all shakes out but here’s hoping it ends in a win-win for all because Australia has had a rough time of it lately with the bushfires and seeing Celete Barber’s record-setting fundraiser reach a victorious end would be a nice salve to all the awful stuff that’s been happening.

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Scott Morrison Scores Another 'F' After Getting The Number Of Kangaroo Island Bushfire Casualties Wrong

The cringe bar continues to be lowered.

From trying to sneak in an early Hawaiian holiday to a heap of tone-deaf comments, this season of “Scott Morrison bushfire relief efforts” has been quite the cringeworthy journey. The latest episode of the PM’s odyssey comes from Kangaroo Island and boy is it doozy.

Scotty visited the popular tourist spot after it was ravaged by bushfires and proceeded to log another ‘F’ score after he awkwardly got the number of casualties wrong when chatting to a group of concerned locals.

After meeting with some Kangaroo Island residents, Scotty said to them “thankfully, we’ve had no loss of life”. Now this is a perfectly fine thing to say to a bunch of concerned people… had it been factually correct.

A woman quickly corrected Scotty about the number of bushfire casualties on Kangaroo Island, telling him “Two, we’ve lost two.”

Immediately recognising his little faux pas, Scotty quickly tried to cover his tracks by saying “Two, yes two, that’s quite right, I was thinking about firefighters”.

For what it’s worth, a spokesperson for Scotty said that he and the Kangaroo Island locals were discussing “firefighting efforts” at the time.

Uh huh, sure Jan.

After a series of bushfire-related blunders, this one is a new low for our PM. Hell, it’s even more embarrassing than when Urban Dictionary “honoured” Scott Morrison by giving his self-proclaimed nickname ‘Scomo’ a scathing definition and making it a Word of the Day.

To be fair to Scotty, he did do his part for the locals by encouraging tourists to “cut [holiday operators] a break” when asking for refunds during these trying times.

But still, maybe read up on what’s going on or stick to forced handshakes next time you’re visiting locals in bushfire-ravaged areas, Scott Morrison.

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Urban Dictionary Has Given Scott Morrison The Handshake He Didn't Want

The internet has spoken.

It goes without saying that Scott Morrison hasn’t had the best time handling the bushfire crisis that’s gripped Australia. Between going on an early Hawaiian holiday to making tone-deaf comments, Scotty has copped a heap of flak for not being the inspirational PM we want and need right now.

But Scott Morrison should look on the bright side as Urban Dictionary has decided to bestow our PM with a big honour by making his self-proclaimed nickname, ‘Scomo’, its Word of the Day.

And by bright side we mean more embarrassing news.

‘Scomo’ was officially defined on December 17, 2019, by Urban Dictionary as: “A person in charge who leaves things to others when a difficult or emergency situation arises”.

Just to make sure people were using Scotty’s nickname correctly, Urban Dictionary provided an example on how to use ‘Scomo’ in a sentence properly:

“S**t was going really tits up at work this week so I Scomo’d off to a tropical island for some R&R and let someone else sort it out”.

The definition has copped a heap of likes (and a few dislikes) since its inception, but with the bushfires getting even worse and some more cringeworthy moments involving our PM, like Scotty forcing people to shake his hand and Piers Morgan roasting him, Urban Dictionary decided that it was time to bestow ‘Scomo’ with its prestigious Word of the Day honour for Jan 7, 2020.

Just to make sure there’s a record of this honour, we took a screenshot and voila:

After forcing reluctant people to shake his hand, Scott Morrison has been given the handshake he didn’t want. Not that he’ll know about this latest accolade on Urban Dictionary (or this article about it) anyway since he’s likely too busy doing stuff related to the bushfires.

Unless he’s Scomo’d off to a tropical island for some R&R and let someone else sort everything out (again).

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

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