Like everyone in Australia, at AFG we were shocked and saddened by the devastating bushfires that burned across the country over the summer months. Whilst the fires are now finally out, there are many communities that face a long and challenging journey of rebuilding their homes and towns.

AFG continues to work on a number of initiatives to support our Brokers and Customers. This included the announcement in January of a $100,000 Bushfire Relief Fund consisting of $1000 fast response grants and a separate donation to the Mortgage and Finance Industry Bushfire Relief campaign supporting the Australian Red Cross. As an aggregator with a significant national footprint, we wanted to support our brokers, their customers and our AFG Home Loans customers who have been seriously injured or had property partially or completely destroyed by the recent bushfires.

To help target brokers and customers and encourage them to access the grant, we analysed where our brokers businesses are, their customers and the locations of our AFG Home Loans customers to understand who was in a bushfire impacted region. To achieve this, we sourced the real-time fire regions from the NSW, SA and VIC Regional Fire Services. We then had to geo-code our brokers and customers – something that we previously hadn’t had the need to do – and used the Geocoded National Address File (referred to as G-NAF, Australia’s authoritative, geocoded address file) to map addresses to a latitude/longitude coordinate. That allowed us to then accurately determine which brokers (including their customers) and AFG Home Loans customers were in directly impacted by the bushfires.

A sample of the output of the analysis is shown in the map of NSW below. At the time that the analysis was done (c. 14th January),  the yellow regions are where the fires were deemed as “under control” by the NSW Regional Fire Service. The circles show the number of brokers, brokers’ customers and AFG Home Loans customers that were impacted by the fires. The tool developed allowed our team to drill down into those areas and contact those affected.

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