Today we announced we will provide community groups in Southern Queensland and Northern NSW with grants, expected to total at least $250,000 to help support flood recovery.

As part of our overall support for flood affected communities, the Local Flood Grants will provide either cash or technology to the value of up to $10,000 to eligible local organisations.

This is in addition to our broader support program for customers which we expect to run into several million dollars.

These floods have been devastating and our hearts go out to everyone impacted. Our local Telstra teams have been on the ground working around the clock to get communities back online as quickly as possible. As part of the community, we know how important supporting each other during these times is and we wanted to reassure people we’ll be there as they recover and rebuild.

Volunteers have been giving their time in really difficult conditions to keep their local communities safe. Whether it’s the SES, lifesaving or sporting clubs, Rotary, Probus, groups of neighbours or even strangers – volunteers have been pulling together to rescue people, give them shelter, provide them with a hot meal and clean clothes and making sure they are cared for.

Many of our techs and frontline customer service teams live in these communities and are members of these organisations. We want to do our part to support them and provide practical support for the volunteers who are so often the ones meeting community needs and responding to Australia’s natural disasters.

We hope the Telstra Local Flood Grants will provide the kind of grassroots assistance many communities need – whether it’s covering the cost of new equipment, providing technology to help keep people connected, replacing sporting gear that has been ruined, or supporting those who support the most vulnerable in our community.

Adding to our disaster assistance package

We continue to offer customers impacted by the crisis a range of financial support such as Disaster Assistance Packages, including an additional 100GB of data on mobile services, call diversions for those who have had to leave their home or business, and free WiFi and calls through Telstra payphones.

Customers who might require further ongoing financial support are encouraged to head to Telstra.com for more information.

Telstra employees whose homes have been damaged by the floods are being supported with emergency accommodation and cash advances for urgent food and clothing. Employees can also use paid disaster leave for the immediate protection of life and property, paid carers’ leave to provide care or support to a member family or household who is sick or injured, and paid volunteer leave for those volunteering with emergency response groups.

More than 3,000 customers in hard hit areas will receive Smart Modems 2 so they remain connected while Telstra carries out repairs and restoration work on fixed line services. These modems can access Telstra’s mobile network and will provide customers in flood affected areas with unlimited mobile data until their fixed internet services are restored.

Head to our Disaster Assistance page for more information on these packages.