Australian consul thanks city for response to deadly bush fires

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 March, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 March, 2009, 12:00am

On a sombre note, after more than 200 people were killed in southern Australia in horrific bush fires that left thousands of homes destroyed and 450,000 hectares in the state of Victoria burned, there was a positive tone yesterday as Consul General Les Luck (pictured left) thanked the people of Hong Kong for their kind contributions.

Luck said it was deeply moving, and a sign of the strong friendship between Australia and Hong Kong that the community reacted swiftly with heartfelt messages of sympathy and a desire to help those who had been affected by Australia's worst natural disaster.

'Many people in Hong Kong have links to Australia, and it's obvious by the reaction to the bush fires that these connections are deep and very personal in nature,' said Luck. 'In particular, the response from Australia-related community groups has been very heartening.' Luck received a cheque from Kyran Sze (pictured right) on behalf of the Australian Red Cross Victorian Bushfire Appeal for HK$307,388 from Support Australia, a grouping of 15 Australia-related organisations.

Money has also been donated directly to the Australian Red Cross by businesses, individuals and schools, many of which held their own fund-raising activities. The money will help more than 7,000 people left homeless after the fires, which claimed at least 210 lives and injured more than 500.