Minister for Justice Michael Keenan and Victorian Minister for Emergency Services Jane Garrett today announced that disaster assistance has been activated following the bushfires that affected Victoria on 19 and 20 December 2015.
The assistance is being provided under the jointly-funded Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).
The following assistance is available to the impacted local government areas of Ballarat, Bass Coast, East Gippsland, Indigo, Moorabool, Murrindindi, Surf Coast, Whittlesea, Wodonga and Yarra Ranges:
- For affected individuals and families—assistance with the demolition, rebuilding and removal of debris from damaged residential properties, and personal and financial counselling; and
- For affected local councils—assistance with the costs of clean-up operations and restoration of essential public assets.
In addition, residents in the worst-affected local government areas of Ballarat, Moorabool, Indigo and Wodonga can apply for the following emergency grants to relieve personal hardship and distress:
- Emergency Relief Assistance, which provides payments of up to $520 per adult and $260 per child (up to a maximum of $1,300 per household) available to help meet immediate needs, including emergency food, shelter, clothing, and personal items.
- Emergency Re-establishment Payments, which provide up to $32,500 per eligible household for 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 Victorian Emergency Recovery Information Line on 1300 799 232 to find out about the assistance that is available.
Quotes attributable to Commonwealth Minister for Justice The Hon Michael Keenan,
“The Australian and Victorian governments recognise the need for quick action to help affected communities recover from the devastating impacts of these bushfires, particularly so close to Christmas.”
“These emergency grants will assist affected families with any immediate needs and will provide support to people to undertake clean-up activities so that they can re-establish their homes.”
"The Commonwealth and Victorian governments are committed to working together to ensure that disaster affected communities receive the necessary support to help them recover as soon as possible."
Quotes attributable to Victorian Minister for Emergency Services Jane Garrett
“The Commonwealth and Victorian governments have triggered the grants to help those people who have been left devastated by these bushfires.”
“It’s been a very difficult time for these communities and we’re making sure people have the support they need.”
“We are expecting more hot weather later this week and I urge all Victorians living in bushfire prone areas to remain vigilant and make sure they have a bushfire plan.”
Reviewed 10 February 2021