Support For Colac And The Otways After Christmas Day Fires

29 December 2015

Premier Daniel Andrews has today announced more support for people affected by the Christmas Day fires while visiting Colac and the Otways.

The support includes a landfill levy exemption, a community recovery co-ordinator and a community recovery worker, to help locals get back on their feet in the aftermath of the fires.

The Victorian Government has been on the ground along with dedicated emergency service workers and volunteers since Christmas Day, to provide assistance and financial help for people in urgent need. The Government is now preparing to help people as they view their properties and the damage that has been caused.

Mr Andrews said affected communities will be exempt from the landfill levy, to help people recover from the damage caused by the fires.

The levy for rural landfills is $60.52 per tonne of municipal and industrial waste, and up to $250 per tonne of prescribed industrial waste such as asbestos and contaminated soils.

The exemption means that property owners will avoid significant levy costs, up to many thousands of dollars. Based on preliminary estimates, between 30 and 60 tonnes of waste will need to be removed from each of the properties impacted by the fire, which would normally cost about $5,000 to dispose of in local landfills.

Landfills where the exemption will apply are: Drysdale, Anglesea and Corangamite. It will apply to those that have lost houses, and also those people who have left their homes because of the fire and need to dispose of foodstuffs and other waste as a result.

The Department of Health and Human Services will work with the Council to ensure the community can access streamlined information about the practical assistance that is available to them.

Mr Andrews also announced $250,000 to fund the creation of an additional community recovery co-ordinator and community recovery worker to work with the Colac Otway Shire Council to ensure people can readily receive support.

The Council has been using its information hub in Nelson St as a way of co-ordinating the queries from the community about the services available to assist them.

Assistance ranges from material aid and municipal services, to counselling support, ways to volunteer, how to get health information, and how to connect with community groups.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“We will be there every step of the way to support Colac and the Otways to get back on its feet. People are now reviewing the damage caused by these dreadful fires, and this support is about helping with that recovery.”

“Those affected by the fires will be exempt from the landfill levy. The damage means that a lot of materials will have to be removed from properties, and people shouldn’t face thousands at the tip in doing that.”

“I’m thankful for the dedication of our emergency service workers and volunteers, who have been away from their families over the Christmas season, on the frontline fighting these fires and protecting communities.”

Reviewed 10 February 2021

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