The charity announced about a third of their donated funds have been distributed although many bush-fire victims have not yet received anything. The plan is that funds will be distributed over three years in ‘tailored recovery programs’ they said.
Charity director Noel Clements rejected claims the charity has been stockpiling the money to hand out during future disasters.
‘So that’s to basically do the work we are doing at the moment in processing the applications. It is to make sure we are meeting legal requirements, to make sure we are actually able to process applications as quickly as we can. We have teams calling people to support them with those applications, it is that essential cost.’
He said they did not expect to spend anywhere near the $10million that has been allocated. So far payments handed out by the Red Cross to the victims have ranged from $10,000 to $20,000 , the problem is that it’s a slow process, only 700 grants have been approved so far.
Mr Clements said volunteers were working hard to ensure the applications were done quickly, but there were issues due to the remoteness of some of the areas. He went on to say they had volunteers on the ground helping with applications in the hopes of preventing possible fraud.