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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    Banks, Australia Post on board for stricken communities

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    Friday, December 24, 2010

    Banks, Australia Post on board for stricken communities

    Premier Anna Bligh today announced it would be easier for stricken communities to access disaster-relief funds under a new agreement between the State Government, National Australia Bank, ANZ and Australia Post.

    "In the past, when a disaster was declared in a community, relief cheques were only able to be cashed at the Commonwealth Bank, the State Government banker on which the cheques were drawn.

    "Obviously, this was a problem in towns with no nearby Commonwealth Bank branch.

    "That’s why we are pleased to announce today the NAB, ANZ and Australia Post have come on board.

    "The agreement is in place right now, so if a situation arises where we need to declare a disaster, everyone will be ready to go.

    "The storm season is well upon us and we are expecting very heavy rain over the next week.

    "We know that in the event of a disaster, people’s lives are turned upside down.

    "People need emergency funding fast – they have enough to worry about without getting to a bank in another town.

    "Under these new arrangements, if the Commonwealth doesn’t have a branch in town, another bank might, or there may be a post office.

    "In larger centres, all four would work together in a cooperative effort.

    "This is a classic example of good corporate citizenship – these institutions will be providing these services at no extra charge to the State Government.

    Ms Bligh said the agreement was co-ordinated by Queensland Treasury as part of the Government’s integrated disaster response strategy.

    "The Department of Communities – often the lead agency in disaster recovery –mobilises an army of public servants who volunteer to leave their own homes and families to work in disaster-affected communities," Ms Bligh said.

    "These disaster recovery teams get services and the emergency cheques moving so people can buy essential supplies.

    "I know I speak for all Queenslanders when I say we never want to see a disaster – especially over Christmas.

    "But the good news is that if we do – we’re prepared."

    Media Contact: Kate Van Poelgeest on 0458 449 267