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BankSA and Westpac extends support to Adelaide Hills’ communities affected by bushfires


7 January 2015

On behalf of the Westpac Group, BankSA has today announced up to $150,000 of support towards South Australia’s bushfire recovery.

The support package includes a donation of $50,000 to the State Emergency Relief Fund, from both Westpac and BankSA, while up to $100,000 will be made available as part of BankSA and Westpac’s National Disaster Recovery Fund, to support local re-building and recovery efforts in affected Adelaide Hills’ communities.

Announcing the funding, Nick Reade, chief executive of BankSA, said the bank’s support was a part of an overwhelming response from South Australians to the natural disaster.

“While we’re doing everything we can on the ground to respond to the catastrophe in a swift and caring manner, I know these initiatives will go a long way to help people rebuild their lives after such a devastating loss,” Mr Reade said.

“I would also like to emphasise our thanks and appreciation to our people who are volunteering with the Country Fire Service and emergency services, or working tirelessly to help our customers when they need us most.”

BankSA and Westpac’s National Disaster Recovery Fund will enable community organisations that have been affected by the Adelaide Hills’ bushfires and need financial help, to apply for recovery grants as part of the longer term recovery phase.

Applications will be made online through the Westpac and BankSA websites and then considered by a panel of local representatives.

“Once those dangers have receded, our recovery grants will form part of the long term recovery of our treasured Adelaide Hills’ communities, at a time we know our communities need sustained support,” said Westpac South Australian State General Manager Rod Barnier.

Today’s announcement comes after BankSA yesterday repurposed its Stirling, Mount Pleasant, Woodside, Gawler, Tanunda, Tea Tree Gully and Lobethal branches into rest centres, supplying drinks and snacks for firefighters as they transit to and from the bushfires.

In addition, BankSA mobilised its staff to provide on the ground assistance to affected customers in the recovery centres at Golden Grove and Willaston, as well as establish a station at Blacksmith’s Inn in One Tree Hill.

“We know through long experience just how damaging the impact that bushfires can have on the local communities that we’re proud to serve and where our staff also live and work,” Mr Reade said.

The bank’s Disaster Relief Package, enacted yesterday, also offers immediate financial help to customers affected by the bushfires, with BankSA and Westpac staff providing additional support for those in need through local branches and contact centres.

Personal donations to the State Emergency Relief Fund can be made at any BankSA or Westpac branch across Australia.