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Appeal launched for Cyclone Larry victims

21 March 2006 |Media centre

Bendigo Bank today announced a $10,000 donation to assist the far north Queensland communities affected by Cyclone Larry.

The donation kick-started a national appeal launched by the Bank’s charitable arm, Community Enterprise Foundation.

Bendigo Bank has a strong branch presence in the areas affected by the natural disaster, with at least three branches remaining closed today.

Bendigo Bank Chief Operating Officer Queensland John Goddard said the devastation had hit home with both customers and staff.

“We have more than 67,000 customers and 160 staff in the area and many of them have been subjected to the devastation of the cyclone,” Mr Goddard said.

“One of the strengths of the organisation is that we care for our customers and equally for our staff, and we are doing everything we can to help them in the aftermath of this tragedy.”

He said some staff members had lost their entire homes, other properties sustaining serious damage while another reported sheltering inside while the strong winds ripped the roof off her home.

“We will be providing support services for those staff affected by this event,” Mr Goddard said.

“Our insurance department and Mortgage Help Centre will work with customers affected on a case by case basis.”

Sixteen Bendigo Bank branches were closed yesterday and as many as seven branches have been affected, including Innisfail, Tully, Westcourt and Babinda, remained closed today.

“The roof at both the Innisfail branch and Babinda building were lifted off and the buildings sustained water damage,” Mr Goddard said.

“However, at this stage we have been unable to access the Tully branch, so the extent of the damage is still unknown.”

Donations have already begun flowing into branches right across Australia. Donations to the Appeal can be made at any Bendigo Bank branch throughout Australia or by phoning 1800 304 641.

Donations over $2 are tax deductible.

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