Canberra charity boss Peter Gordon has called on developers and multinational IT firms to do more to help those in need in the national capital, the Canberra Times reports.
Mr Gordon said he believed some of the richest companies reaping profits from Canberra were not paying that money forward enough, if at all.
The chief executive officer of Hands Across Canberra, which works with more than 250 local community organisations, has made the call as the winter-long Canberra Recovery Appeal enters its final month, closing in on its goal of raising $400,000 for charities which could not do their usual fundraising due to last summer’s bushfires and COVID-19.
Mr Gordon said that in his experience, the most charitable developers in the national capital were Terry Snow and the Hindmarsh Group, which had their own giving foundations, and the Village Building Company, which has plans to build a townhouse in Weston and give the profits to Hands Across Canberra.
“The development industry has some spectacular examples in terms of philanthropic contribution,” Mr Gordon said.
By contrast, other developers, as well as IT multinationals, rarely if ever made a charitable contribution to Canberra.
“The IT industry is largely multinational and largely refuses to engage in local philanthropic conversations,” he said.
“I’ve been to, I don’t know, say 1000 charity events. I’ve never been to one sponsored by IBM. I think there should be some kind of correlation between how much you make in a community and how much you leave behind in a community.”
He has singled out those industries because, public service aside, the biggest economic drivers in Canberra were building, construction and trades and information and communications technology.
He was not swayed by arguments multinationals might make generous contributions to national or international charities.
“That’s marvellous. But that doesn’t help the Canberra community where they’ve made some of their profit,” he said.
Canberra Recovery Appeal (Hands Across Canberra)