Fires prompt disaster appeal and emergency response
Vinnies has today launched a disaster appeal to help victims of the bushfires currently devastating communities across Queensland - and urged people to dig deep to help.
We need the public to give what they can - these people are going through what can only be described as the toughest of times.
Every dollar given to Vinnies for this disaster appeal will go directly to people affected by these terrible events, with many of the fires caused by a drought affecting half of the state.
Public donations help feed, clothe and provide immediate financial support for those who have been evacuated and displaced, as well as helping those who will be starting again after their homes and businesses are razed.
Our volunteers and members are on the ground now helping people who have lost everything, as our emergency services battle more than 70 fires burning across the state.
They are all local community members themselves, understand the needs of those affected, and often they face threats to their own homes and livelihoods while helping others.
Vinnies has a strong track record of responding to Queenslanders impacted by disasters.
This is because Vinnies is the trusted charity people turn to during disasters. Vinnies will always be there for whatever Queensland faces, fire, flood or drought, and we always will be.
We helped thousands of people and distributed more than $5 million over the past financial year with these heart-felt donations given to victims of the current drought, the North Queensland floods, and the bushfires in central Queensland last year.
Another $31 million was given during the Brisbane floods and Cyclone Yasi in 2011.
Vinnies was formed in Queensland 125 years ago to respond to the needs of people affected by the great Brisbane floods of 1893, we were there then, and we are here now.
We are hearing that this is the worst start to the fire season on record. The forces hitting the state this week really are the perfect storm. We see the flames and smoke but it's the long-term drought facing the state that's led to these bushfires.
People in need of assistance can call Vinnies Helpline on 1800 846 643. To make a donation go to vinnies.org.au/donate, choose Queensland, and click on Vinnies Disaster Appeal - QLD.
Vinnies State President
Scott Morrison's religious freedom bill lacks one crucial point: it doesn't allow freedom to answer religious criticisms.
It will therefore allow believers to slag off those who are their pet hates, but won't allow the victims to talk back.
Christians love to scream that they believe gays are child molesters, for instance, simply because gays are gay.
On the basis of this, Christians further scream that no gays should ever be allowed anywhere near children.
Any true religious freedom law would specifically allow for the victims of such "beliefs" to make similar comments in return.
After all, the Royal Commission showed that in fact it's Christians who molest children, so it's fair and reasonable to say that children should be kept safe from Christians at all times.
It's also almost a cliché that hundreds of thousands of Australians can prove they got a good Catholic education by the number of bruises they still have. And so on.
Freedom of religion includes freedom about religion, and applies to everyone equally