When natural disasters struck parts of Australia early in 2011, we responded immediately with a clear message - 'personal safety comes first, tax matters can wait'.
At a glance
- 7,436 support visits to small business in metropolitan Brisbane
- 3,039 business support visits in the region affected by cyclone Yasi
- 768 business support visits in other regional areas of Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales and Western Australia.
We mobilised 550 of our staff to 10 Centrelink offices to provide assistance to Centrelink for periods of between two to eight weeks.
Our field officers also visited over 6,500 businesses in flood-affected areas.
After the initial response, we continued to provide targeted support to people in affected areas including assisting them to reconstruct tax records where documents were destroyed or lost.
Our web page Help through difficult times set out the services and practical assistance we could provide to those in need.
Helping our own people
Many of our own people were also affected by the disasters, including in Brisbane, Toowoomba, Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville and Cairns in Queensland, and in Victoria and Western Australia.
We coordinated support for several of our staff who suffered significant loss or damage to their property and around another 3,800 employees unable to attend work for up to five days.
Our staff worked tirelessly to restore operations in our 10 closed offices. And our wider organisation rallied by redistributing work into non-affected offices.
Australians digging deep
Recognising the generosity of the community, we made it easier for people to claim a deduction for 'bucket donations' under $10 by not requiring a receipt.
Our social clubs and local sites organised many fundraising events, raising thousands of dollars for public appeals and staff welfare funds. Many thousands of dollars more were added through our Workplace Giving program.
Our employees from Penrith travelled to Ipswich to help community members restore a community park following the floods.
Our field officers travelled to areas affected by natural disasters.
Centrelink briefing in Cairns.
Penrith employees helped Ipswich locals to restore a community park damaged by the floods.