Victorian Bushfire Appeal funds distributed to those who need it most
In partnership with the Victorian Government, Bendigo Bank is pleased to announce $5.25 million raised through the Victorian Bushfire Appeal is being made available immediately to those most affected by the bushfires that have devastated East Gippsland and North-East Victoria, including families who have tragically lost a loved one.
The support will be delivered through The Salvation Army, BlazeAid and Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund and builds on the investments being made by the Victorian and Commonwealth Governments.
The support includes:
- Immediate payments of $50,000 to the families of the five people who have tragically died during Victoria’s recent bushfires.
- $1 million for BlazeAid to operate numerous base camps for the volunteers helping farmers replace fences destroyed by the bushfires on their property, and funds for boundary fence material costs.
- $4 million to support residents in bushfire affected areas who have experienced loss of, or damage to, their principal place of residence. These initial payments will range from $1,000 to $4,500 and will assist pay temporary accommodation costs, such as hotel bills.
“Like all Australians, we have been deeply touched by the tragic personal impacts of the bushfire disaster and we are committed to supporting those most affected in the weeks, months and years to come,” said Alexandra Gartmann, Executive Corporate Affairs, Bendigo Bank.
Further funds from the Victorian Bushfire Appeal will be released to assist relieve short term needs, and as communities commence the longer-term recovery, consultation will ensure funds are spent where local communities need it.
The recent bushfires have devastated communities, with five deaths, thousands of people displaced, and more than 1.5 million hectares of land and hundreds of buildings destroyed. Through this devastation, the generosity of Victorians has shone through, with the Victorian Bushfire Appeal already raising $24 million. One hundred percent of the funds raised in the Appeal will be distributed directly to affected communities - both now and in the long-term.
The Chair of the Appeal Advisory Panel is the former leader of the Victorian Nationals, the Hon Pat McNamara, with an Advisory Panel also appointed to recommend on the expenditure of funds – every dollar of which is going to bushfire affected communities.
Donations to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal can be made by visiting vic.gov.au/bushfireappeal or any Bendigo Bank branch.
Donations to the National or other state based appeal can be made online at www.communityenterprisefoundation.com.au/make-a-donation/ or any Bendigo Bank branch.
Victorian Minister for Emergency Services Lisa Neville said: “This initial release of appeal funds will go immediately to families who need it the most – families who have lost loved ones and families who have lost their homes."
VBA Advisory Panel Chair, Pat McNamara said: “Our aim is to get these funds out to those in the greatest need as quickly and as transparently as possible. While not replacing all that has been lost, these funds will help deal with the immediate needs of families in East Gippsland, the North-East and beyond to get back on their feet.”
The Bank has also announced the availability of funding from its national Bushfire Appeal. More detail can be found here.
About the Victorian Bushfire Appeal
The appeal is conducted by the Bendigo Bank’s charitable arm, Community Enterprise Foundation™. All donations of $2 or more are tax deductible and donors will be provided with a tax receipt through the Foundation.
The National Bushfire Disaster Appeal and state-based Bushfire Disaster Appeals are management accounts of Community Enterprise Foundation™ ABN 69 694 230 518, The Bendigo Centre, PO Box 480, Bendigo, Vic 3552. The Foundation will make distributions by way of grants, following receipt of applications from organisations endorsed with an item 1 Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR).