The Commonwealth and Victorian governments have come together to prepare the Centre for National Resilience at Mickleham to provide crisis accommodation for Victorians affected by widespread flooding.
From Tuesday, 250 beds at the Mickleham facility will open to help people whose homes have been inundated. As well as accommodation, residents will be provided with food and support services both on-site and remotely.
The Commonwealth, which built and owns the Mickleham facility, has agreed to its use as crisis accommodation after the centre closed as a quarantine hub last week.
Emergency Management Victoria, Emergency Recovery Victoria (ERV) and COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria (CQV) are working together to stand up the facility, using former quarantine staff and service providers who can get on the ground to start providing support quickly.
The Centre has dedicated car parking onsite for residents, as well as a shuttle bus providing free regular transport to and from Craigieburn train station and the local shopping centre, as well as other short transport requests if residents need.
Unlike the Centre’s time as a quarantine facility, residents will be free to move around the facility, socialise with each other, and come and go as they see fit.
Each room comes complete with toiletries and other necessities, and residents will be provided with three meals each day, and snacks and drinks on arrival. Charities will provide assistance with items like clothing that families may have had to leave behind or lost during the floods.
ERV and CQV will provide colouring books, puzzles, sporting equipment and other children’s activities for residents – making an uncertain and stressful time easier for families, and helping to welcome children to the Centre and reduce the anxiety they will be feeling.
Pets will also be welcome at the Centre, but must be on a leash or in carriers when outside their cabins.
There are also additional services specifically tailored to the new residents’ crisis needs, including Commonwealth assistance through Centrelink and case management service to help Victorians whose properties have been affected by the floods through one easy contact point.
Medical care will be available onsite around the clock – including mental health support, and specific support for any trauma residents may be experiencing as a result of the flooding emergency.
Emergency Management experts toured the facility to assess its possible use during a disaster earlier this year – and Victoria has been working closely with the Federal Government to ensure the hub could be activated quickly if needed.
Responders on the ground in flood zones will help determine who is most in need of accommodation at the centre – and from Monday, Emergency Management Victoria’s support service on 1800 560 760 will help refer anyone who needs immediate shelter as soon as they make contact.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said: “We’re ensuring Victorians can have a safe roof over their heads immediately following a major flood event.”
“We have not hesitated to make the Centre for National Resilience available in this time of crisis.”
“We will be on hand to help in any way we can during this crisis and in its aftermath.”
Premier Daniel Andrews thanked the Commonwealth Government for working with Victoria to ensure flood affected Victorians could quickly access crisis accommodation and financial support to help them through this challenging time.
“We thank the Albanese Government for working with us to quickly ensure flood-affected Victorians will have a safe, comfortable place to sleep, and food on the table,” Mr Andrews said.
“As we’ve always said – we wish we didn’t need to use the hub, but we’re grateful it’s here to support Victorians who have been so profoundly affected by this flooding event.”
“Whether it’s crisis accommodation or financial support for families doing it tough, we’ll do everything we can to support Victorians while the waters are still rising, and long after they’ve receded.”
Reviewed 16 October 2022