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Media releases

Westpac Group establishes $1.5 million dollar Bushfire Fund

6 January 2020

Westpac Group has established a $1.5 million Bushfire Fund. This Fund will support the rural fire services, our customers, and a number of organisations assisting with the recovery process.

David Lindberg, Chief Executive, Consumer Division, said the $1.5 million Bushfire Fund will offer practical help on the ground.

“Urgent assistance is what is needed as many of our customers and communities are facing unprecedented devastation, uncertain futures for their homes, families, businesses and for many, their livelihood. We are also committed to helping communities recover over the longer term.

“Anyone who needs assistance or support should contact their local branch, Relationship Manager or call our Westpac Assist team on 1800 067 497 as soon as possible to discuss their circumstances,” Mr Lindberg said.

The Westpac Bushfire Fund will include:

  • $500,000 in grants to immediately support customers and employees whose properties have been destroyed or damaged. Grants of up to $2000 can be accessed to help cover temporary accommodation, food and clothing;
  • $300,000 to state-based volunteer fire services to continue to support the emergency workers on the front line;
  • $250,000 to the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) to provide grants to impacted communities to support recovery and rebuild efforts;
  • $100,000 to the Victoria Bushfire Appeal, established yesterday; and
  • The remaining $350,000 funds will be allocated for the rebuilding and recovery support that will be essential in the months ahead as communities rebuild homes and businesses, as well as for the rescue and rehabilitation of local wildlife.

This Fund is in addition to a number of initiatives announced since the start of the extended fire season:

  • Community: $200,000 donation to The Salvation Army Emergency and Disaster Appeal;
  • Customers: A Disaster Relief Package for customers to assist with their needs;
  • Donations: Donations are being taken at any Westpac, St.George, BankSA or Bank of Melbourne Branch or through our Mobile Banking App, which will further assist with the Salvation Army Emergency and Disaster Appeal;
  • Matching Gifts: Any employee who donates to a charity providing disaster relief will have their donation matched by Westpac Group; and
  • As one of Australia's largest employers, Westpac Group has a number of initiatives to support our people who are helping the recovery process. This includes uncapped paid leave for employees who are emergency service volunteers, and counselling support.

Insurance customers

All affected insurance customers should contact Westpac on 1300 369 989 so that we may assist. Claims can be lodged 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling this number.

For media enquires:

Penny Mahon
Westpac Media Relations

*Westpac Home & Contents Insurance is issued by Westpac General Insurance Limited (WGIL) ABN 99 003 719 319 (except workers compensation cover where applicable). Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 (the Bank) arranges the insurance, but does not guarantee the insurance. This information does not take into account your personal circumstances. Terms, conditions and limitations and exclusions apply. Read the Product Disclosure Statement to see if this insurance is right for you. WGIL is a subsidiary of the Bank. *Eligibility and credit criteria, terms and conditions apply. This information has been prepared without taking your objectives, needs and overall financial information into account. For further information or to request the full terms and conditions please contact Westpac on the numbers stated above. © Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 AFSL and Australian credit licence 233714.