Disaster assistance has been made available for the communities of Baw Baw, Cardinia, Latrobe, South Gippsland and Wellington following the bushfires that commenced from 28 February 2019 onwards.
Assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).
Minister for Emergency Management and North Queensland Recovery Senator the Hon. Linda Reynolds said as these fires continue to burn, communities need to remain vigilant, well prepared and have a plan.
“The fires were fast-moving and fuelled by strong winds, threatening lives and destroying a number of homes,” Minister Reynolds said.
“The fires have burnt through thousands of hectares of land, causing major disruptions to nearby communities.
“This disaster assistance will also help state response agencies with the costs of bushfire response operations.
“The Commonwealth and Victorian governments are committed to supporting the recovery of those affected by the bushfires.”
Victorian Minister for Police and Emergency Services the Hon. Lisa Neville said that a number of communities have been significantly affected across the south east of the state and need assistance.
“We know that being displaced after emergencies is incredibly difficult. Recovery support is available for people experiencing personal hardship to help with their immediate emergency needs and re-establishment,” Minister Neville said.
“If you have been affected and need assistance, please reach out to the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services and your local council to find out what help is available.
“As always, our emergency management agencies did a remarkable job of helping communities and I thank them for their efforts.
As the impact of the fires becomes clearer, additional assistance will be made available as required.”
Individuals in the local government areas of Baw Baw, Cardinia, Latrobe, South Gippsland and Wellington can now access the following emergency assistance to relieve personal hardship and distress:
- Emergency Relief Assistance Payments, which provide payments of up to $540 per adult and $270 per child (up to a maximum of $1,890 per eligible household) are available to help meet immediate needs, including emergency food, shelter, clothing, and personal items
- Emergency Re-establishment Assistance provides up to $40,700 per eligible household that has been affected by fire at their primary place of residence. The grants are available for eligible clean-up, emergency accommodation, repairs,rebuilding (a principal place of residence), and replacing some damaged contents.
Anyone who has been affected by the bushfires and is suffering personal hardship and distress should call the VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226 to find out about the assistance available.
Funding is also available to state government agencies and affected councils to cover the costs of certain counter disaster operations and the restoration of damaged essential public assets.
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.