2022 floods

The flood emergency in New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania and Victoria has impacted hundreds of thousands of people. Tragically, lives have been lost, and homes, workplaces and community facilities have been inundated with record levels of floodwaters.

As community owned and operated businesses for the common good, co-ops and mutuals are well placed to contribute to the immediate emergency response and the longer recovery effort for communities impacted by extreme climate events and other disasters. In some regions, the clean-up and recovery will take months or even years. Stock, infrastructure and capital losses have a profound effect on businesses, not to mention workers who are also faced with personal losses at home. Off the back of the pandemic, as well as bushfires in some regions, this is yet another trauma. However, as in previous disasters, we know that co-ops and mutuals will play a pivotal role in rebuilding their local communities.

Government support

Small grants for flood impacted communities – donate today

The Australian Mutuals Foundation (AMF), in partnership with the BCCM, G&C Mutual Bank and Summerland Credit Union, has issued two rounds of small grants to assist co-operatives and mutuals and members of these organisations to help their communities to recover from the impact of the floods. Donate now to the Australian Mutuals Foundation.

Australian Mutuals Foundation supports flood impacted communities

March 2022 floods update

How co-ops and mutuals are helping

Responding to the crisis, the Australia Mutuals Foundation, the mutual sector’s charitable fund, has activated its emergency/disaster relief donations portal to accept donations from the Australian co-operative and mutual community for the flood disaster relief effort to help communities impacted by the devastating floods in News South Wales and Southern Queensland. Donate to the AMF Flood Disaster Relief fund.


Australian Military Bank is providing financial assistance to impacted members as well as supporting displaced veterans, kicking off its campaign with an initial $20,000 donation to ‘Wounded Heroes’, the valuable support program that provides accommodation and other assistance in instances where veterans and their families have been displaced. The Bank will match donations made by its staff to this cause over March and April.

Australian Unity has a range of packages to support members, customers and employees.

bcu‘s support package for impacted customers is now available.

Beyond Bank is encouraging members to call so that they can work out a way to assist.

CivicRisk Mutual is supporting member councils at Richmond Valley, Hawkesbury, Penrith, Blue Mountains, Wollondilly, Blacktown, Parramatta and as well as its other members. Members are provided prompt assistance and damage assessments in order to determine potential claim costs and, where appropriate, members are offered up-front initial claim payments to enable quick repair, replacement and reinstatement of their community services and facilities. This service has previously proven to reduce the pressure on Councils and their cash flows during stressful times and has provided positive outcomes for members’ communities.

Employsure has prepared a complimentary extreme weather pack with resources for managing employees.

Great Southern Bank is offering a support package for affected customers.

Greater Bank has a support package for affected customers.

HCF Health Insurance is supporting customers with access to premium waivers and temporary suspensions and access to mental health support.

Heritage Bank has also provided a support package for affected customers, as well as donating $100,000 to assist flood victims. Heritage Bank is also accepting donations from its members to support the flood response, both in-branch and online.

Koori Mail is accepting funds and providing practical support for Indigenous communities.

Marquis Macadamias has provided a grower liaison officer to work with affected growers.

Norco Rural Store in Lismore is now open for business. Thanks to all of the Norco team who are working so hard to get the Norco ice cream factory and mills cleaned up.

ORICoop is offering support to producers impacted by the floods as well as seeking donations and volunteers.

Queensland Country Bank has donated $50,000 to GIVIT and has a support package for affected customers. “Our Boards and Executive Teams fully supported Queensland Country making a combined donation of $50,000 on behalf of our bank and health fund, and after speaking to the team at GIVIT, we feel very confident that our donation will make a tangible difference to the flood recovery for Queenslanders”, said Queensland Country Group CEO, Aaron Newman.

RACQ’s care flights and rescue helicopter service have been providing extensive support. In addition, RACQ’s Mobile Member Centre travelled to Gympie to assist with claims, while its roadside assistance responded to record volumes of calls. RACQ has assured customers that they are covered for storms and floods, and had already had more than 8,800 claims just from within Queensland as of midday Thursday. RACQ is offering tailored financial relief packages.

RACQ Foundation is helping grassroots community organisations get back on their feet after the recent floods, with new grants worth up to $100,000 now on offer.

RapidClean has put together a GoFundMe page locally owned store, RapidClean Byron Coast (Southern Cross Hygiene) in Lismore, which has been devasted by the recent catastrophic floods, losing all stock in both warehouses including two vans and forklifts. The Pembroke family will need to start again, building from the ground up.

Summerland Credit Union is providing a support package for affected customers.

Summerland Credit Union has established a Community Banking Hub at Southern Cross University, Lismore. The community banking hub is supported by Summerland, Newcastle Permanent, Southern Cross Credit Union, G&C Mutual and Greater Bank.

The Casino Food Co-operative has been a centre point for recovery and food distribution hub from the commencement of the flood event. They have utilised hard and soft assets in the emergency effort including refrigeration plant and equipment, plant and forklifts to operate food and emergency distribution hub, chopper pad, fuel tanks, mobile generators, earth moving equipment. Staff, including plant workers and cleaning teams, have volunteered for the relief effort and are cleaning homes and assisting with food distribution.

Fortuitously, the Co-op had agreed to take in the entire fresh produce of a Lismore fruit and veg shop after it was evacuated. Those 20 pallets of fresh fruit and vegetables became vital for keeping locals in evacuation centres alive.

The Co-op became the centre for air drops to the isolated and cut-off communities. The Co-op’s people were all ‘hands-on deck’ packing food hampers for the food drops and out in the field helping to evacuate and clean inundated properties.

This disaster highlights how important it is for industry and emergency services to come together for the good of the community. The Co-op delivered 90 pallets of food, using 20 helicopters and 11 trucks to 14 communities. It’s estimated the Co-op helped feed around 4,000 people during the crisis.

The Mutual Bank is providing impacted customers with assistance or financial hardship relief as appropriate to their situation.

Impacted co-ops and mutuals

bcu branches are closed in Brisbane, Murwillumbah, Lismore, Ballina, Iluka, Grafton and Toormina.

Clarence River Fishermen’s Co-Operative has been taking it hour by hour for now. Their community spirit and resilience in managing the challenges has shone through.

HCF Health Insurance‘s Lismore branch is badly impacted.

Koori Mail‘s offices have been destroyed. Last week was its first missed publication date in 30 years. Despite this, Koori Mail assisted with evacuations for remote Indigenous communities.

Nundah Community Enterprises Co-op lost $10,000 worth of stock and equipment in soccer club canteens, which they run to provide work opportunities to people from refugee backgrounds. Despite this, Nundah Community Enterprises Co-op teams are assisting with cleanup.

Norco‘s Ice-cream factory and Lismore facilities were flooded.


RapidClean‘s Lismore branch was destroyed (Southern Cross Cleaning).

Summerland Credit Union suffered significant damage to its Lismore branch and head office. The upper floors of the head office may be available in 1-2 months. The branch will be 6+ months. A second multi-storey commercial building in the CBD owned by SCU was similarly damaged. The tenants are a welfare organisation

TNR Accounting offices have been destroyed.


Multiple organisations have closed branches, but it is unclear at this stage whether they are flooded or just inaccessible.

Latest flood news

BCCM NSW Parliament launch 2022 photo by Chris Gleisner
19 October 2022

NSW Parliamentary Friends of Co-operatives and Mutuals launches in Sydney

Worsening flood outlook across the state underscored the need for greater collaboration on disaster and resilience planning, as it launched the NSW Parliamentary Friends of Co-operatives and Mutuals.
13 October 2022

Minimising the impact of future disasters

October 13 marks the United Nations’ International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction. This year’s focus in on early warning systems, which are proven to save lives and reduce economic losses in the...
AMF Flood Relief Fund
21 September 2022

Small grants for flood impacted communities: Second round of successful recipients announced

The Australian Mutuals Foundation (AMF) and its partners are now pleased to announce the second round of small grants recipients.
flooded road
5 September 2022

Co-operatives and mutuals support flood recovery efforts

The AMF has announced the first 21 recipients of flood recovery grants from more than $210,000 raised from co-operatives, mutuals and their members around Australia.
AMF Flood Relief Fund
24 August 2022

Small grants for flood impacted communities: Successful recipients announced

The Australian Mutuals Foundation (AMF) and its partners are now pleased to announce the first round of small grants recipients.
10 August 2022

Co-operatives have their say as NSW Parliament’s Select Committee Flood Inquiry releases final report

The BCCM is pleased to see that the anticipated report into the recent flood events acknowledges the vital role of local knowledge in responding to crises.
AMF Flood Relief Fund
30 June 2022

Small grants for flood impacted communities

The AMF, in partnership with the BCCM is offering small grants to assist co-ops, mutuals and their members to help their communities to recover from the impact of the floods.
20 May 2022

Depleted workforce and housing impact to remain severe challenges, BCCM tells 2022 NSW Floods Inquiry

The BCCM and the Northern Rivers Co-operatives Alliance today issued a joint call for workforce renewal and housing needs to be prioritised in flood-ravaged areas of the North Coast.
BCCM Resilience Dinner Melina speaking photo by Chris Gleisner
16 March 2022

‘Resilience’ – human, organisational and societal

Melina Morrison's speech on human, organisational and societal resilience at the 2022 BCCM Resilience Dinner, 15 March 2022.
15 March 2022

Leadership during a crisis: putting community before profits

The vital role played by co-ops and other member-owned businesses in the east coast flood disaster demonstrates the need to include them in future policy discussions on resilience.
15 March 2022

Whose job is it to buffer communities from natural disasters?

BCCM CEO, Melina Morrison, was featured on ABC's Life Matters this morning discussing the role mutuals play in insurance.
7 March 2022

BCCM participates in flood disaster roundtable

On Friday, 4 March, BCCM CEO Melina Morrison travelled to Canberra to participate in a flood disaster roundtable with Senator Bridget McKenzie.

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