Mission Australia has teamed up with Great Southern Bank in a new community partnership aimed at cutting utility bills and reducing emissions for hundreds of Australians living in community housing.

The bank will invest $1 million over the next three years funding energy and water efficiency upgrades across hundreds of properties managed by the national community housing provider along the eastern seaboard of Australia, starting with New South Wales. 

The initiative comes as electricity prices continue to rise across Australia.

Paul Lewis, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Great Southern Bank, said the partnership had the potential to relieve energy bill hardship for hundreds of Mission Australia tenants living in community housing.

“Some of the homes that will be upgraded are over 40 years old and amongst the least energy efficient in the country. The tenants are mostly on low to medium incomes and will be able to redirect savings from lower utility bills towards essentials such as food and medication. For many, this will also help them build a crucial savings buffer for when things go wrong.”

Mission Australia CEO, Sharon Callister, said: “One of the big attractions of this partnership is the fact that we are aligned in our purpose and share a common desire to see that everyone can maintain an affordable, stable and sustainable home.

“This is a unique opportunity to collaborate and co-design a ground-breaking program with the potential to tackle what we know are complex and layered issues. Not only does this program address cost of living challenges, but it also allows us to work together to take meaningful climate action”. 

The partnership plays a key role in Great Southern Bank’s new Financial Inclusion Action Plan, which details more than 40 practical actions it will take over the next two years to improve the financial wellbeing of customers and the communities it serves.

The partnership also supports the bank’s commitment to climate action, by helping to reduce emissions and building greater awareness and energy-conscious behaviours for Mission Australia tenants.

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