News Article

Government support and payments available for Bushfire impacted individuals and regions

   Thursday 9th January, 2020

Here is a quick summary of Australian Government support for bushfire impacted individuals and regions.

This is intended as an easily accessible guide and list to help individuals,communities and businesses impacted by the East Gippsland Bushfires.

The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment and Disaster Recovery Allowance is detailed on the Disaster Assist website.

Victorian Bushfires - December 2019 and January 2020 – Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment

• The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment is a one-off payment to help you if a declared disaster significantly affects you.

• You have until 30 June 2020 to make a claim for the following Local Government Areas: East Gippsland

Head here to find out more

Victorian Bushfires - December 2019 and January 2020 - Disaster Recovery Allowance

• Support for people who can show they have lost income as a direct result of the bushfires in Victoria in December 2019 and January 2020.

• You have until 30 June 2020 to make a claim for the following Local Government Areas: East Gippsland.

Head here to find out more

Households in the East Gippsland local government area can also now access the following Victorian Government emergency payments to relieve personal hardship:

• Emergency Relief Assistance Payments, which provide payments of up to $560 per adult and $280 per child (up to a maximum of $1960 per eligible household) are available to help meet immediate needs, including emergency food, shelter, clothing and personal items.

• Emergency Re-establishment Payments provide up to $42,250 per eligible household experiencing financial hardship, who have been affected by fire at their primary place of residence. The grants will be available for clean-up, emergency accommodation, repairs, rebuilding (a principal place of residence), and replacing some damaged contents.

Visit a relief centre for more information and to find out if you are eligible.

The funding arrangements will also allow for state government agencies and the East Gippsland and Towong councils to apply for funding to help cover the restoration of essential public assets such as roads and public hospitals.

Financial counselling for farmers and businesses

The Rural Financial Counselling Service offers free and independent financial support to primary producers and non-agriculture related small businesses.

Rural financial counsellors support farmers, fishing enterprises, forest growers and harvesters, and small, related businesses suffering financial hardship. The RFCS can be contacted on 1300 735 578. Gippsland offices are located at Maffra, Leongatha, Ellinbank and Bairnsdale.

Documents and identification

• The Australian Registries of Births, Deaths and Marriages will replace certificates that were lost in the recent bushfires, free of charge. You can call the Department of Justice on 03 5215 8500 and they will mail the forms to you.

• VicRoads can, if you've been affected by the recent bushfires: refund your remaining registration without any admin fees for any fire damaged vehicles or, replace your licence/learner permit/marine licence card for free.

Business Obligations.

The ATO and ASIC have also put out information relating to businesses affected by bushfires.

Australian Defence Force

The Australian Defence Force have been called in for additional support, e.g. evacuation of Mallacoota.