The Minister for Justice, the Hon Michael Keenan, and Victorian Minister for Police and Emergency Services, the Hon Kim Wells, today announced that additional disaster assistance is being made available to communities affected by the recent bushfires in Victoria.
“The damage caused by these bushfires is significant, so the Government has moved quickly to activate financial assistance for councils to conduct counter disaster operations, clean-up activities, and to restore or rebuild essential public assets damaged by the fires,” Minister Keenan said.
The support for Victoria is in addition to the personal hardship and distress assistance announced by the Commonwealth Attorney General, Senator Brandis and Minister Wells on Sunday. The support is provided under the jointly funded Commonwealth-Victorian Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements.
Individuals and families in the affected local government areas can access personal hardship and distress assistance to help with immediate emergency needs, such as food, clothing and accommodation, the removal of debris, repairs, rebuilding and replacement of essential household contents and personal and financial counselling.
“People experiencing personal hardship and distress should contact the Victorian Department of Human Services on 1300 790 733 to enquire about what assistance they may be eligible for,” Minister Wells said.
The assistance is available for the bushfire affected local government areas of Ararat, Horsham, East Gippsland, Hindmarsh, Mildura, Northern Grampians, Southern Grampians, West Wimmera and Yarriambiack.
Minister Wells said that authorities are continuing to assess the damage caused by the bushfires, and that if assistance is required in other affected communities, it will be extended to those locations.
For further information on disaster assistance available contact the Victorian Department of Human Services 1300 790 733 and visit the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website at www.disasterassist.gov.au