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Bendigo Bank launches Tasmanian bushfire appeal


5/01/2013

Bendigo Bank today launched a national appeal in support of south-eastern Tasmanian communities devastated by bushfire.

The bank’s State Manager Russell Carrick also announced interest relief would be provided to Bendigo Bank borrowers who have lost homes, businesses or income as a result of the fires.

“As we launch this appeal, the situation is extremely concerning,” Mr Carrick said.

“People’s safety is of course the main priority, but with a hundred or more properties already damaged it is clear that affected communities are going to face a battle even after the fires are contained.

“Our bank has a decade’s experience in responding to fire and flood crises, and we are aware that communities need ongoing support well after the immediate threat has passed.”

The appeal, conducted by Bendigo Bank’s Community Enterprise Foundation, was launched with $2000 donations from the Bendigo Bank Community Bank® branches at Bicheno and Sorrell.

Donors will be able to point their donation to the community of their choice, with accounts opened in aid of Bicheno as well as south-eastern communities centred on the severely impacted town of Dunalley.

Mr Carrick said Bendigo Bank branches across Australia would accept appeal donations from the opening of business on Monday (eds: 7 January).

Donations of $2 or more are tax deductible and can also be made online immediately at www.bendigobank.com.au

Bicheno – http://shop.bendigobank.com.au/public/foundation/shopquery.asp?catalogid=387&bc=no

South East Tasmania – http://shop.bendigobank.com.au/public/foundation/shopquery.asp?catalogid=386&bc=no

Mr Carrick said that with the threat of fires spreading further over the weekend, further communities would be added to the appeal if necessary.

Mr Carrick appealed to Bendigo Bank customers affected by fire to contact the bank as soon as possible.

He said the bank would provide interest relief to Bendigo Bank loan customers who have lost homes, businesses or income as a direct result of the bushfires.

Repayments on owner-occupied and business loans will be deferred for three months and interest will not accrue during this period. Customers with fixed rate loans who elect to use an insurance payment to pay out their loan will not be charged loan break costs.

“After the three months, our Mortgage Help Centre will work with customers individually,” Mr Carrick said. “Our aim is to help them get back on their feet as quickly as possible.”