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BlueScope Steel's businesses across the globe responded compassionately following the devastating earthquake and tsunami in South Asia on 26 December 2004. Our people acted quickly giving cash, food, clothing, essential supplies, steel buildings and building materials to help the victims of the disaster.
Donations to the Red Cross Quake and Tsunami Appeal from BlueScope Steel and our employees totalled almost A$1.3 million. Our Company made an initial donation of A$200,000 and then matched employee contributions of over A$500,000.
Many of the worst affected countries, such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, are countries in which we have operations, but thankfully none of our employees were injured. However, some of our employees suffered great losses amongst extended families - and our deepest sympathies were extended to them.
Support from BlueScope Steel across the region:
In addition to the Appeal, employees in the region assisted embassies and others in relief work, and Asian businesses donated steel buildings and building materials.
Our Company worked with architects, designers and aid agencies to prepare designs for emergency aid buildings, and BlueScope Water manufactured and shipped over 100 rainwater tanks from Australia to Banda Aceh, Indonesia. The tanks provide clean water for up to 100 families.
BlueScope Steel Thailand, in conjunction with our partner company, the Loxley Group, committed funds to the relief and reconstruction effort through the donation of product worth one million baht, including steel shelters and building materials. An emergency housing project, Baan Andaman, is underway on the island of Phang Nga, near Phuket, which was devastated by the tsunami.
BlueScope Lysaght Thailand continues to work closely with local government and non-government agencies to design and supply low cost housing solutions.
In India, our BlueScope Lysaght business committed to donating low-cost steel housing solutions, in conjunction with BlueScope Lysaght's team in Vietnam.
Work continues with the Red Cross and local authorities to find a solution for the re-housing of villagers in the Nicobar Andaman region that was hit by the tsunami.
Apart from the Company's contribution of rainwater tanks, BlueScope Steel Indonesia has mobilised a project team working closely with Habitat for Humanity to assist in the rebuilding of the tsunami affected areas of Aceh.
Elsewhere in Asia
Employees in many of our businesses in Asia spontaneously organised their own local relief efforts before the Company-wide Appeal was established.
In Sri Lanka, our BlueScope Lysaght business loaned trucks for use in the relief effort.
BlueScope Lysaght Sabah held fundraising breakfasts where the net profit from the sale of food and beverages plus personal donations from employees and regular customers were forwarded to the local Malaysian Red Crescent Society.
BlueScope Water entered into a partnership with the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne for the provision of water conservation education equipment, which will be used by the Education Service staff at Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne and the rapidly developing Australian Garden site.
The Australian Garden is being created to display the best of Australia's remarkable native flora in an artistic landscape. The Garden is located within the 363-hectare Royal Botanic Gardens (RBG) Cranbourne in the City of Casey, about a 45-minute drive from central Melbourne, Victoria. RBG Cranbourne is a division of the Royal Botanic Gardens and is dedicated to advancing knowledge, enjoyment and conservation of Australian plants and ecosystems.
RBG Cranbourne is home to some of the most significant remnant bushland and wetlands in the Melbourne region, and is recognised as a site of state significance for flora and fauna conservation. Opened to the public in 1989, RBG Cranbourne plays a vital role as a recreational and conservation resource for the region and for the nearby Mornington Peninsula and West Gippsland areas.
At the Australian Garden, to be opened in May 2006, visitors will immerse themselves in Australian flora, landscape, art and architecture. They will learn about the environmental issues that affect our daily lives and the essential role that plants play in all life on earth. Students will be offered conservation and environmental education learning opportunities in a world-class outdoor classroom setting.
Support of the Australian Garden reflects BlueScope Water's commitment to the environment and sustainable practices. Our sponsorship assists in the research, development and design of water education programs including a schools program and teachers' kit, a home gardeners' program and fact sheet and an early childhood program, and the provision of a class set of microscopes and water equipment along with interpretation materials and fact sheets.
RBG Cranbourne Education Service and Visitor Program staff will use the materials provided by the BlueScope Water sponsorship in the Australian Garden to help explain key educational themes linked to the importance of water conservation.
With the support of the project's key funding partners and BlueScope Water, it is expected the Australian Garden will develop into a major tourist destination of international standing, offering local and interstate visitors the opportunity to appreciate and explore new aspects of our flora and landscape and the unique nature of our environment.