02 March 2022
The ongoing flood emergency in New South Wales and Queensland 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. In some areas the enormous task of cleaning up has begun, while elsewhere there remains an anxious wait for the forecasted floodwaters.
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.
The donations portal was last activated in 2020 to receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in national and overseas donations from co-ops and mutuals towards relief for the 2020 Summer Bushfires. Once again, 100% of donations received by AMF will be used for the social and public welfare of those affected and to help communities to recover from the flood disaster. Co-ops and mutuals headquartered in the flood zones will help inform how funds should be directed for maximum benefit and impact.
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.
BCCM members are at the epicentre of some of the most extreme flooding, including Norco, Summerland Credit Union and TNR Accountants in Lismore, and Heritage Bank in Toowoomba. Other members with operations in the flood areas in NSW and Southern Queensland include RACQ, Great Southern Bank, bcu, Queensland Country Bank, Union Co-operative Society, Marquis Macadamias, Ballina Fishermens Co-op, Clarence River Fisherman’s Co-op, OzGroup and Casino Food Co-op. Nundah Community Enterprises Co-op has confirmed stock and equipment losses to the value of $10,000, which were vital supplies for the soccer club canteens they operate that provide people from refugee backgrounds with work opportunities.
Co-ops and mutuals are already active in their local communities, assisting with practicalities and offering comfort. RACQ has been involved on the front lines over the past few days and has also brought in additional resources to manage insurance claims. Teams from Nundah Community Enterprises Co-op are out assisting with the clean-up despite their own losses. We also know many individuals from the BCCM community will have their own stories of community care and resilience as they carry the co-operative spirit with them in all they do.
Our hearts break as we read the emerging stories and try to comprehend the magnitude of this disaster. 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.
Your support today can make a huge difference – donate now to the Australian Mutuals Foundation.
BCCM members are welcome to use AMF logo imagery, links and text on their own websites. Logo imagery is available on the AMF website.
We hope you’ll join us in supporting the AMF fundraising efforts to help the co-ops and mutuals community recover and also support their own local area to re-establish.
Share the news about the CME sector’s response. Please send your updates and images of the flood disaster and recovery to [email protected].