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Media Release

BankSA to access $1.5 million Bushfire Fund for local fire affected regions

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

BankSA will access a $1.5 million Bushfire Fund, announced by the Westpac Group, to provide immediate assistance to bushfire affected communities in South Australia.

This Fund will support the country fire services, our customers, and a number of local organisations assisting with the recovery process.

BankSA Chief Executive, Nick Reade, said the funding will provide immediate, practical help on the ground.

“We know that our customers and communities in the Adelaide Hills and Kangaroo Island are facing unprecedented challenges and need urgent assistance to get back on their feet.

“Our local teams are working tirelessly to support customers on the ground in these communities and identify how we can help with their immediate needs.

“We’re also working on how we can best support in the weeks and months ahead to help these communities and economies to rebuild.”  

The Bushfire Fund includes:

  • $500,000 in grants to immediately support customers and employees whose properties have been destroyed or damaged. Grants of up $2,000 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; and
  • The remaining $450,000 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 already announced including:

  • Customers: A Disaster Relief Package for customers to provide immediate financial relief;
  • Community donations: Donations to the Vinnies SA Bushfire Appeal are being taken at any BankSA branch or through the BankSA Mobile Banking App;
  • Matching staff donations: Any employee who donates to a charity providing disaster relief will have their donation matched by BankSA; and
  • Supporting our staff on the ground: As a significant South Australian employer, BankSA 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.

BankSA customers who need assistance are encouraged to contact BankSA Assist on 1800 679 461 to discuss their personal or business circumstances, or visit a local branch.

Insurance customers should contact BankSA on 1300 656 345 so that we may assist. Claims can be lodged 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling this number.