Jonathan Sri says Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest, who today donated $70m to the bushfire recovery fund, is “stingy” and “exploited workers”.
Jonathan Sri says Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest, who today donated $70m to the bushfire recovery fund, is “stingy” and “exploited workers”.

Greens councillor slams bushfire donor’s $70m gesture

CONTROVERSIAL Greens councillor Jonathan Sri has unleashed a scathing attack on billionaire Andrew Forrest for his generous $70 million donation to bushfire relief, accusing the mining magnate of "exploiting workers and destroying the environment."

Cr Sri took to Facebook today after Mr Forrest and his wife Nicola made the announcement, with $10 million going to immediate relief and a further $10 million for specialist volunteers from Western Australia.

A further $50 million would be invested into "a long-term blueprint for fire resilience."

"With incredible courage and determination, Australians have united to help those devastated by these bushfires," Mr Forrest said.

Founder of the Minderoo Foundation Andrew Forrest donated $70 million to bushfire relief efforts. Picture: Zak Simmonds
Founder of the Minderoo Foundation Andrew Forrest donated $70 million to bushfire relief efforts. Picture: Zak Simmonds

But the large boost to Australia's bushfire relief has apparently done little to impress Cr Sri, who has previously attracted criticism for comparing Extinction Rebellion protests to the Anzac Day march.

On Tuesday, it was revealed that the controversial Greens councillor was being investigated over a misconduct complaint in relation to facilitating meetings for serial climate disrupters Extinction Rebellion. 

Cr Sri tonight told The Courier-Mail that Mr Forrest was using the donation to "leverage political influence."

"Billionaires use chump change donations like this as a PR exercise to argue that they shouldn't pay their fair share of tax," he said.

"If a boss underpays you for years, you don't describe them as 'generous' just because they gave you a box of chocolates for Christmas."

Jonathan Sri accused Mr Forrest of having exploited workers and destroying the environment. Picture: Annette Dew
Jonathan Sri accused Mr Forrest of having exploited workers and destroying the environment. Picture: Annette Dew

Cr Sri said he had donated to bushfire relief himself, but said he wasn't going to "make a song and dance about it just for some positive PR".

"For someone worth around $12.8 billion, this donation isn't generous - it's stingy," he said.

"He made it by exploiting workers and destroying the environment."

Cr Sri had earlier taken to Facebook to slam Mr Forrest's donation.

"Stuff him," he wrote. 

"A pensioner with $1000 in the bank who donates 50 cents to bushfire victims is making a far bigger sacrifice and showing far more generosity than Andrew Forrest."

Andrew Forrest has an estimated net worth of $8.8 billion USD ($12.8 billion Australian). This supposed $70 million...

Posted by Jonathan Sri, Councillor for The Gabba on Wednesday, 8 January 2020

The post has caused division on social media, with some users pointing out Mr Forrest was not obligated to donate at all. 

"It's not a pissing contest," one user wrote.

"How much have you put in?" another commenter asked.

"Incredible negativity … if he gave nothing you'd criticise," said another. 


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