CEPU establishes flood disaster member assistance fund


Eastern Australia has received devastating rainfall which has caused record breaking flood levels.

From South East Queensland to the Mid-North Coast of NSW, thousands of families have already been displaced and lost everything, including a bed to sleep in – forced to take refuge at community evacuation centres. Others are unaware of what the loss actually will be until they can finally return to their homes, whenever it becomes safe to do so.

Tragically, some have lost their lives.

Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have been affected by these extraordinary events, and for those who are yet to feel the effects of the torrential rain which looks to return to the area later this week, whilst a major rain cell continues to make its way further south down our coastline.

The Branch Secretary has taken immediate steps to convene a special meeting of the Branch Committee of Management in order to provide emergency relief funds to CEPU members and their families who are in desperate need for assistance. The below motion was passed at that special meeting:


Moved by: Shane Murphy, Branch Secretary  
Seconded by: Rita Karim, Branch Vice President

Noting the unprecedented flood emergency tragically affecting so many CEPU families, the Branch Committee of Management authorises the Branch Secretary to establish a special benevolent fund of $30,000 and directs the Branch Secretary to provide emergency assistance to affected members of the NSW Postal & Telecommunications Branch, from that fund .

Such funded assistance shall be made at the discretion of the Branch Secretary, in consultation with Branch Organisers and Officials, and shall include, but not be limited to:

1. The provision of emergency accommodation;
2. Clothing;
3. Food and other essential incidental items.; and
4. Assistance payments to volunteer rescue service, who are also CEPU members, who have been required to avail of Annual Recreation Leave, Long Service Leave or leave without pay, in order to attend to their volunteer duties in their communities. Such payment shall be made to ensure these members are not disadvantaged in order to continue providing crucial assistance to their communities.


A special online form has been developed to make it as quick and simple as possible for members to apply to benefit from this fund.

Click here to access this form and make a request, now.


With everything members in affected areas are currently experiencing, worrying about their ARL and long service leave balances being large enough to ensure funds will be available to meet their basic financial obligations is something they shouldn’t have to be concerned about as they attempt to navigate through this immediate emergency situation.

The CEPU therefore welcomes announcements by major industry employer groups, Australia Post and Telstra, today confirming that members impacted by this tragic disaster will continue to receive their wages, without impacting on existing leave balances.

Australia Post will provide to affected direct permanent and fixed-term employees of the Australia Post Group, contractors and licensees (and employees and subcontractors of contractors and licensees):

  • A Natural Disaster Support Payment of up to $2000 to assist with food, clothing and/or short term accommodation for yourself and your immediate family

Australia Post will provide to direct permanent and fixed-term employees of the Australia Post Group:

  • Natural Disaster Leave where eligible employees have the option to apply to take time away from the workplace for up to 4 weeks, to deal with the impacts of the natural disaster, without loss of salary or the deduction of leave credits.
    The purpose of taking time off work should be to ensure the safety of your family, pets, livestock and property. This entitlement will be calculated on your average salary earnings, and will count as service for all purposes.

To access any of the above, complete the relevant Natural Disaster Support Application Form and submit it to your people leader. The form is located on the HR Manual Tools and Resources page on Isaac or you can ask your people leader.

Community Service Leave is also available at Australia Post for members of a State Emergency Service, firefighting service, search and rescue unit or similar service involved in protecting the safety of people, animals and property; or if you have been asked by the volunteer service to assist with a natural disaster or emergency situation.

Telstra will provide:

  • Up to four weeks paid accommodation
  • Cash advances for urgent food and clothing
  • If you are asked not to attend work, or if you can’t safely make it to work because of flooding, Telstra will pay you as though you did
  • Paid disaster leave for the immediate protection of life and property
  • Paid carers’ leave to provide care or support to a member of your immediate family or household who is sick or injured
  • Paid volunteer leave for those volunteering with emergency response groups (For example, the SES)

To access any of the above, please engage with your people leader.

The CEPU is calling on all other industry employers to provide similar support benefits to their affected employees.

In the meantime, should you require any further information, advice or assistance with any of the above, please contact Branch Assistant Secretary Peter Chaloner or Branch Officials Cade Anderson, Phil Kessey, TK Ly, Liam Murphy, Peter O’Connell, Giselle Saba, Dharmpal Singh or Dennis Williams on (02) 9893 7822.

Yours faithfully,


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