CANBERRA, Australia – Australia is accustomed to dealing with bush fires, especially during periods of drought such as the one the country is struggling with now, but even the city of Canberra – the capital of the country and nicknamed `the bush capital'- was surprised at the severity of the fires that roared throughout the region over the weekend of Jan. 18th, killing four and sending 250 people to hospitals. Community CPS Credit Union was the first credit union to offer help to the victims. Cost estimates have not yet been given for the damage, but estimates are expected to run in the hundreds of millions of dollars. So far more than 400 houses were destroyed and hundreds of people were evacuated. "Community CPS has over 50,000 members in the Canberra region, and a significant number are sure to have been affected by the weekend's bush fires," said Robert Keogh, CEO. He encouraged members to get in contact with the credit union as soon as possible so the CU can provide them immediate aid. "As an institution that has been part of the community for over 40 years, Community CPS Credit Union is shocked by the events of the weekend and extends our sympathies to those who have been devastated by the fires," Keogh said. Even where the fires have passed, residents have been told to stay away. There is still danger from gas leaks and power lines. The response of the 43-year old credit is consistent with its vision statement: "To be recognized as a superior financial institution of excellence and achievement throughout the ACT region" and their mission: "To improve the financial health of members and add value to their relationship with CPS through the provision of competitive products and services" The credit union has seven branches in the region. Other credit unions in the area are also expected to come to the aid of families who have suffered in the fires.

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