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Court decision on the Celeste Barber bush-fire relief fundraiser

News update: The NSW Supreme Court ruled that the $51.3m fund-raised by Celeste Barber can only go to the New South Wales Rural Fire service.

Who took Barber to Court?

The trustee of the New South Wales Rural Fire Service went to Court to seek direction from a Judge about how they can spend the money donated.

What can the money donated be spent on?

The donations can be spent by the NSW Rural Fire Service on:

  • A fund for firefighters who are injured or killed

  • Training and resources for firefighters

  • Trauma counselling for firefighters

  • Resources for the fire brigade

  • In some limited cases, helping other brigades.

Why can't the NSW Rural Fire service spend the money however they want?

The fire service was set up using a trust deed. That deed sets out rules on what they can spend money on.

This is why it is really important to get legal advice before signing a trust deed or creating a major fundraiser.

Should you have any questions about the legal requirements of doing business in Australia, please do not hesitate to contact me on or + 61 3 8691 3128.

Best wishes, Caroline Mense

Principal Lawyer at Legal Enablers


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