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Media releases

Westpac extends Disaster Relief Package following floods in South-East Queensland


12 January 2011

Westpac has extended its Disaster Relief Package as the latest part of its strategy to assist customers seriously affected by the floods in the South East region of Queensland, including (but not exclusive to) the towns and surrounding districts of Toowoomba, Ipswich, Grantham, Gympie and Logan as well as the flood-affected areas of Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.

This extension of the financial relief package complements Westpac’s existing flood assistance efforts, including bank staff providing temporary accommodation, assisting with general clean-up efforts and distributing Government emergency cash handouts. In addition, the Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) Westpac Rescue Helicopter has winched several people to safety from dangerous situations in the flood-stricken Toowoomba region.

Westpac has put together a package which offers practical help by giving immediate financial relief to affected customers.

“Westpac stands ready to help anyone who has been affected by these floods,” Westpac Queensland State General Manager, Retail Banking, Andy Fell said.

"I encourage all affected Westpac customers to talk to their local Bank Manager so that we can assist with any financial headaches caused by this natural disaster.”

Andy said that he had reports of numerous Westpac staff pitching in and supporting their community during the flood crisis, including helping move sandbags, reopening branches at the earliest opportunity, helping with food drops and volunteering time at rescue centres.

The SLSQ Westpac Rescue Helicopter has also been busy helping flood victims, rescuing three people and also helping with supply drops in the Kilcoy/Esk area yesterday, and being on standby to assist in the Ipswich/Brisbane/Gold Coast area as flood waters move.

Westpac Queensland State General Manager, Commercial and Agribusiness, Rod Kelly said that business and farming customers who had been hit by the floods should not hesitate to contact Westpac to discuss their situation.

“As always we are here to support our customers through good times and bad, and to help them manage the impact of the floods on their finances,” Rod said.

The relief package offers:

  • Affected customers with Westpac home loans may apply to defer repayments for up to three months.
  • Affected businesses with existing loans can request loan restructuring without incurring the usual bank establishment fees.
  • Affected credit card customers may request an emergency credit limit increase.
  • Affected credit card customer may apply defer payments to their card for 90 days
  • Customers wishing to purchase replacement goods may apply for a personal loan at a discounted rate with no establishment fee
  • Westpac will waive interest penalties for affected customers wishing to withdraw term deposits.
  • Affected Westpac customers with home and contents insurance may be eligible to receive assistance including emergency funds and temporary accommodation.

Westpac customers who wish to utilise these special relief measures or need assistance with lost credit cards or insurance should contact Westpac Telephone Banking on 132 032, Business Direct on phone 132 142, Westpac Assist on phone 1800 067 497 or their local Bank Manager.