Bushfire assistance is now available for communities and councils in the local government areas of East Gippsland and Towong, following the recent fires that started on 20 December 2019.
Assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).
Minister for Natural Disaster and Emergency Management David Littleproud said the Commonwealth and Victorian Government were committed to supporting the immediate needs of those affected.
“This will help life in these communities return to normal even sooner,” Minister Littleproud said.
“This could go into things such as bridge and road repairs so people working in these areas can get back to business.
“It will also pay part of the costs of fighting the fires and the clean up afterwards.
“We will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with these communities and provide further assistance as it is needed.”
Victorian Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville said bushfires in the East Gippsland and Towong regions had caused widespread damage and significantly affected communities.
“We know being displaced after emergencies is difficult. This support is for people experiencing personal hardship and also provides local councils with funding to assist in the clean-up,” Minister Neville said.
“If you have been affected please reach out to your local council to discuss what assistance you may need. As always, our emergency management agencies did a remarkable job helping communities and I commend them for their efforts.
“The impact of these fires is significant. Both the Commonwealth and Victorian Government are committed to working together to assist those affected communities”.
“We know the summer fire season isn’t over yet and Victorians are urged to stay vigilant and be aware of local conditions.”
Households in the local government areas of East Gippsland and Towong can now access the following emergency payments to relieve personal hardship:
- Emergency Relief Assistance Payments, which provide payments of up to $560 per adult and $280 per child (up to a maximum of $1960 per eligible household) are available to help meet immediate needs, including emergency food, shelter, clothing and personal items.
- Emergency Re-establishment Payments provide up to $42,250 per eligible household experiencing financial hardship, who have been affected by fire at their primary place of residence. The grants will be available for clean-up, emergency accommodation, repairs, rebuilding (a principal place of residence), and replacing some damaged contents.
The funding arrangements will allow for state government agencies and the East Gippsland and Towong councils to apply for funding to help cover the restoration of essential public assets such as roads and public hospitals.
Households should contact their local council, or visit a relief centre, to discuss assistance options.
Affected local councils should contact the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance via email email@example.com to discuss the availability of assistance.
Information on disaster assistance is available on the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website at disasterassist.gov.au, the Department of Health and Human Services website at Services.dhhs.vic.gov.au and the VicEmergency website at emergency.vic.gov.au/relief.