Australian Bushfire Crisis
The co-op and mutual family are ready to support communities impacted by the bushfire crisis that is devastating much of the country.
Australian Unity has made a $100,000 donation to Australian Red Cross to assist relief and recovery efforts and will also match dollar-for-dollar any contributions its 7000-plus employees make to Red Cross and a number of organisations supporting wildlife and the environment. Australian Unity has also introduced measures to financially support members, customers and employees affected by the fires.
HCF has donated $20,000 to the Red Cross and $30,000 to the Royal Fire Service and are also giving employees, whose families are affected by the fires, special leave. HCF members suffering financial hardship are being offered a suspension of their membership fees for 1-6 months depending on their circumstances. For health insurance members, the group is offering up to 3 months free premiums.
CUA has donated $50,000 each to the NSW, QLD and Victorian fire services. These donations follow a $25,000 contribution from CUA to the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund in early December, to help volunteers continue to support communities impacted by the bushfire crisis. In addition to the donations, CUA is financially assisting affected members by waiving fees and repayments and supporting staff members who are performing duties as volunteer firefighters or emergency services directly involved in the bushfire response, are eligible to claim up to 4 weeks of paid special leave. The credit union is also introducing a new payment for team members with a partner who has been undertaking volunteer firefighting efforts in recent weeks, where their partner is not already receiving paid emergency services leave from their own employer or the government.
Bus Association Victoria Inc are offering assistance in any way it can to its members affected by the bushfires including cash support, repairing and replacing vehicles, liasing with the regulator in giving them leniency on vehicle inspection dates and pricing.
Go Vita has over 140, member-owned stores Australia wide. Many are located in small regional communities that have been impacted by the bushfires and some members including stores in Tenterfield and Bateman’s Bay have been affected. Go Vita, on behalf of store owners, have pledged at least $500 per day for the month of January to support those affected, contributing to both the Red Cross and Wires. Go Vita is working with health product suppliers to further assist impacted communities.
The orchards of three member growers of the Lenswood Apples – Lenswood Cold Stores Co-Operative Society Limited have been affected by the bushfires in the Adelaide Hills and the co-op is assessing its response.
Australian Mutual Bank responded to the bushfires immediately when it activated its bushfire disaster relief portal in November 2019 via its charity (Australian Mutuals Foundation). Through this, the mutual created a vehicle to raise money from its members, from other corporate supporters within the mutual industry as well as their members. Aside from donating $10,000 to the AMF bushfire appeal, the mutual has launched a package for its members who have been affected by the fires.
The Ulladulla Fishermen’s Co-operative Ltd was essentially shut down for a week but they remained open and provided free ice to locals and stranded visitors who were sheltering in the NSW south Coast township.
The Cobargo Co-operative Society rural supplies store re-opened 2 days after the fires decimated the small community. Operating without power they took orders and supplied goods to local farmers, businesses and community members. The staff are working tirelessly to support the community to rebuild.
Bowral Co-operative Ltd & Saddleworld have been working with local organisations to provide support with donations of various products including stock feed and are helping our members affected on a case by case basis. They are supporting a drought appeal fund raising and are working with the local council who has established a bushfire appeal.