SINGAPORE - Home-grown transport giant ComfortDelGro Corp has set up a fund with an initial amount of A$250,000 (S$234,600) to contribute towards Australia's fight against its raging bush fires.
With an extensive business presence Down Under, the Singapore-listed group set up the CDC We Care Fund to assist in firefighting efforts and to support families with immediate housing and living needs.
Announcing this on Monday (Jan 6), the group said ComfortDelGro Corp Australia (CDC) employees who have had to evacuate or who have lost their homes as a result of the fires are eligible for individual grants.
The fund will be administered by CDC, which operates commuter, school and coach bus services and non-emergency patient transport in New South Wales and the Australia Capital Territory, Victoria, Northern Territory and Queensland, as well as taxi services in Western Australia and Victoria.
ComfortDelGro chief executive Yang Ban Seng said: "We have been following closely the situation in Australia, and are saddened by the tragic loss of life, both human and wildlife, as well as the impact on the environment.
"Having been operating in Australia since 2005, we are a part of the community and we could not watch idly by."
CDC chief executive Nicholas Yap added: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and communities who are affected by the bush-fire crisis. At this difficult time, we are keen to do what we can to help the families in need."
ComfortDelGro said none of its bus commuter services have been affected by the fires, which have been raging since last September and which have devastated a land area of more than 60,000 sq km - or about twice the size of Belgium.
Mr Yap noted: "We can never leave anything to chance and have in place an evacuation plan for each depot that includes emergency protocol such as where staff and buses are to be relocated for operations to continue.
"We continue to monitor the situation and are working closely with the authorities to ensure the safety of our staff and commuters."