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United Group and Red Cross join forces to boost Disaster and Emergency services

Wednesday February 28, 2007

United Group Limited (UGL) has become the first major company in Australia to formally enter into a long-term partnership with Australian Red Cross in support of Disaster and Emergency Services.

The partnership, which will deliver funding of $AUD270,000 over three years, will contribute to a range of Red Cross Disaster & Emergency Services such as volunteer training, community preparedness programs, provision of trained relief workers, care and comfort to victims, and the distribution of food, water, clothes, blankets and medical supplies at evacuation centres during and after a disaster.

United Group Limited will also support Australian Red Cross through a new Workplace Giving scheme to be introduced across all of the Group's Australian operations, encompassing some 9,000 employees. This scheme will see Australian Red Cross benefit directly through pre-tax dollars received via regular employee payroll deductions.
The CEO of Australian Red Cross, Robert Tickner, warmly welcomed the partnership announcement.

'As part of Australia?s integrated emergency management arrangements, Australian Red Cross is actively consolidating and growing its expertise and capacity in the increasingly important field of Disaster and Emergency Services.

'This partnership will allow us to offer significant benefits to communities and governments at all levels across Australia, the Asia-Pacific region and further a field' Mr Tickner said.

The Managing Director and CEO of United Group Richard Leupen said, 'United Group is rapidly emerging as a global business and it made sense to partner with a globally recognised and respected organisation such as Red Cross.

'The partnership with Red Cross is an important step in broadening the Group's contribution to communities throughout the world by making available its skills and knowledge to improve the lives of people that have been affected by disaster. As an example, United Group was responsible for operating mobile water treatment plants, donated by GE, providing clean drinking water for survivors of the Boxing Day Tsunami in Banda Aceh.' Mr Leupen said.

'Through its operating companies, United Group supports its customers in providing many of the necessities of community life - power, water, property, resources and rail and road transport - which is consistent with Red Cross's role during times of disaster

'As well as our financial contribution, our staff will have opportunities to become involved in first aid, health and safety training, low risk volunteering, disaster and emergency services training, blood donations, information sessions, fundraising initiatives, mentoring and profile raising for Australian Red Cross.'

Australian Red Cross, as part of the largest humanitarian organisation in the world, is committed to the protection of life, health and human dignity. Red Cross is focused on improving the lives of vulnerable people by mobilising the power of humanity and ranks as one of the most highly recognised and respected brands in the world. The global Red Cross movement encompasses some 100 million volunteers across 185 countries.