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CFA/Bendigo Bank alliance benefits communities and volunteers

12 May 1999 |Media centre

CFA and Bendigo Bank have joined forces to bolster rural and suburban communities.

In an alliance announced today by the Deputy Premier Pat McNamara, CFA and Bendigo Bank pointed to the withdrawal of banking services in rural and suburban areas, as a key issue of concern for local communities.

CFA's Executive Chairman, Len Foster and Managing Director of Bendigo Bank, Rob Hunt said that strong communities were vital to their organisations' success.

The two organisations have signed an agreement that commits them to ventures which sustain and strengthen communities.

Rob Hunt said "Bendigo Bank's Community Bank® initiative is already producing positive results in galvanising community resolve to improve their circumstances and our link to CFA will help us reach more people who are also promoting self-reliant communities."

As well, brigades and volunteers will benefit from the alliance through a unique financial package of products and services which recognises the important contribution volunteers make to local communities.

Pat McNamara hailed the alliance as "a unique and mutually beneficial arrangement."

He was particularly pleased to see volunteers recognised in the partnership. "Every so often it is brought home to us the extraordinary sacrifice these ordinary men and women make in protecting their communities from fire."

As part of the alliance, brigades will benefit from an income stream that comes out of a CFA/Bendigo Bank Visa card.

CFA members will also benefit from a reduced interest rate on the card and reduced fees on loans.

The bank has also established a new Firepower Investment account with money available at call for the exclusive use of Victoria's 1280 rural and urban brigades.

Endorsing the alliance, Police and Emergency Services Minister, Bill McGrath said "Good corporate citizens such as Bendigo Bank should be applauded. I'm sure CFA's 70,000 volunteers will show their support for the bank.

"This is an important initiative on the part of both Bendigo Bank and CFA to protect and nurture the communities which are their life blood."

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