The Andrews Labor Government today announced a $70,000 boost for the Lorne Community Hospital to help improve counselling and support services for people affected by the Christmas Day fire.
Announcing the funding at a community meeting in Wye River today, Minister for Minister for Water and Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville said it will help the hospital provide additional counselling services for the local community to help them get back on their feet.
It will also help the hospital to identify individuals and groups of people who require more intensive, or specialised support, so that they can then be referred to other, more appropriate health services.
This will ensure people affected by the Christmas Day fire are getting the support they need, when they need it.
The funding support builds on other health and wellbeing support services already being provided to the community including:
- The Victorian Natural Disaster Trust Account has provided $250,000 to Colac Otway Shire to employ two dedicated community recovery staff members
- $166,680 in personal hardship assistance payments has been made available Department of Health and Human Services to assist those experiencing financial hardship
- Funding for community recovery sessions facilitated by clinical psychologists with extensive experience in working with people affected by fire and other disasters
This grant is additional to the Labor Government’s $2.75 million assistance package announced in January and the $190,000 announced in May for the CFA and Wye River Surf Life Saving Club building and equipment upgrades.
Works to re-open Paddy’s Path are almost complete, and will be finished in time for for the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.
The Government will continue to work closely with the Wye River Separation Creek Community Resilience Committee, Colac Otway Shire and the broader community through the resettlement process.
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Health Jill Hennessy
“We are working with the local community and local health services to support them in the recovery from this devastating fire.”
“This targeted counselling and support will ensure people affected by the fire can access the support and care they need, when they need it.”
“Recovering from such a significant event is extremely stressful and I urge anyone who is experiencing high levels of distress to contact their local health service and ask for help.”
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Water Lisa Neville
“We are putting communities first and we want these grants to go a long way in strengthening the sense of community and resilience in Wye River and Separation Creek.”
“Community input has been central to the planning and delivery of these services and we will continue to work closely with the community to help its recovery.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020