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relief-and-recovery
Photo: Agriculture Victoria

Relief and recovery

Relief and recovery

Photo: Agriculture Victoria

Bushfire recovery help and information

Some handy information compiled by the public information section of the Bairnsdale Incident Control Centre.

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Relief and Early Recovery for Fire Affected Communities

While fires continue to challenge East Gippsland communities it is important for regional residents, farmers, and businesses impacted by fire to know about the many services already in place to provide relief and recovery services, and how to get support.

Here are some of the services that are available across East Gippsland to help.

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1. BUSHFIRE CASE SUPPORT:


For anyone affected by bushfire and not sure where to start with finding help with the next steps, please register with Bushfire Case Support on 1800 560 760 to connect with a case coordinator.

There is also a chance to catch up with a range of agencies and services at Community Pop-Up Information Sessions in regional towns. Staff from East Gippsland Shire Council, Department of Health and Human Services, Red Cross, Centrelink, Rural Financial Counselling, Agriculture Victoria, EPA, and other agencies, will be on hand to provide advice and practical assistance involved in relief and recovery. Check the website below for details of dates and locations.

The Bushfire Recovery Centre is also open at 24 Service Street, Bairnsdale, Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm, as a one-stop-shop for bushfire-related enquiries.

If possible, please bring personal identification such as a Medicare card, rates notice, etc., and your bank details, for assistance with payments.

For more information, check out the Relief and Recovery Tab on the Emergency Vic website https://emergency.vic.gov.au/relief/#east_gippsland_fires_2019_20

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2. HELP WITH FENCING

Fencing that has been destroyed by bushfire will need to be replaced.

Different processes apply to fencing, depending on where the fence is and how it was destroyed.

(i) Farm fencing burnt by bushfire

Recovery grants of up to $75,000 per farmer are available to:

- help primary producers who have lost most of their farm business assets
- help remote primary producers with transportation costs

To register your interest in one of these grants, visit ruralfinance.com.au or call 1800 260 425. Applications must be submitted by 31 July 2020.

You may have insurance that covers the cost of your replacement fences. There are volunteer organisations, such as BlazeAid, who have set up camp in Bruthen and are assisting farmers in livestock fencing replacement.

(ii) Farm fencing destroyed by firefighting activities

The state government will pay the full cost of fences damaged on private land because of

- machinery used by fire agencies to control bushfires, or
- fire agency staff cutting through fences to allow access for suppression efforts.

If you believe your fencing was damaged by firefighting activities, please call 136 186 to connect with a DELWP fencing coordinator in your region. Site assessments will be required.

(iii) Farm fencing adjoining state or national parks.

The state government will pay half the cost of materials to replace or repair fencing between private land and all national parks, state parks and state forests destroyed or damaged by bushfires. Site assessments are required.

Funding announced on 29th January by Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes gives farmers the flexibility to not just replace their boundary fences with a standard fence – as per the existing Government program – but to upgrade them, making them fire-resistant with concrete posts and better able to exclude pests such as wild dogs.

To lodge a claim for fencing that adjoins state or national parks or state forests please call 136 186 and they will help connect you with a DELWP fencing coordinator in your region.

More information is available on https://emergency.vic.gov.au/relief/#east_gippsland_fires_2019_20

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3. GIPPSLAND EMERGENCY RELIEF FUND

The team from East Gippsland Shire Council are powering through the Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund applications and have currently processed more than 1,000 applications.

This has released more than $2.2m already from GERF fund, which has reached nearly $4m at the last tally.

This long-standing fund is run entirely by volunteers, ensuring 100% of donated funds reach people in need.

To register for help from the fund, call EGSC’s Recovery Centre on 5153 9500.

To donate, go to: https://www.gerf.org.au/donate

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4. HELP CLEANING UP

Lost your home, shed or other building in this season’s bushfires?

You can now register on 1800 560 760 to have your property cleaned up at no cost.

This program is open to both insured and uninsured property owners, and you won’t be required to contribute anything to the cost of the clean-up.

Grocon has been contracted to conduct the clean-up, using local contractors on behalf of the state government.

You can register for the program by filling in a form available at https://www.vic.gov.au/bushfire-clean-up-program or call 1800 560 760.

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5. HELP FOR FURRY FRIENDS

Caring for pets after the bushfires can be hard. Vet fees, food and pet care all require time and money – and that might not be something you have a lot of right now.

Do you, or someone you know, need some help caring for your pets because of bushfire?

Get in touch with the RSPCA Victoria – they are keen to help you out.

The team has a dedicated bushfire hotline available seven day a week to help with pets, horses and hobby farm animals who have been affected by the fires.

Whether it’s food, water, shelter or basic pet care supplies like collars and leads. Give them a call – 9224 2222 or go to rspcavic.org

For support with livestock animal welfare assessments, contact Agriculture Victoria on 1800 226 226 or go to agriculture.vic.gov.au for more.

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6. REPLACEMENT WATER

Did some of your water get taken to help fight the fires?

Firstly, thank you! Secondly, we’d like to replace it!

The next step is to download and fill in the Essential Water Replacement Form from Forest Fire Management Victoria Public Land Recovery page, and send it to bushfire.recovery@delwp.vic.gov.au

DELWP will get in touch to sort out your claim and get your water replaced as soon as possible.

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7. R U OK?

It’s not R U OK Day, but we think anytime is a good time to check in and ask, R U OK?

Fires in Gippsland have been happening for a long time, and we are still only early in the season.

Please take some time out and check in on your own personal wellbeing as well as with those around you.

Living close to long running fires can be incredibly stressful. There are a great series of videos, produced by Victorian Department of Health & Human Services that help you better understand and recognise stress you might like to check out at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBvJw3nBqKg

It can also be very helpful to talk to someone who’s independent but still understanding.

Here are some services that are available for you or others you know.

LifeLine – phone 131 114 - A 24-hour telephone service that offers confidential support and advice to help you deal with stress and personal challenges.
Beyondblue information line – phone 1300 224 636 - An information line that offers expert information on depression; how to recognise the signs of depression, how to get help, how to help someone else and how to stay well.
Mensline – phone 1300 789 978 - A telephone support, information and referral service, helping men deal with their relationship problems.
Nurse-on-Call – phone 1300 60 60 24 - A 24-hour telephone service that allows people to discuss any health-related issue with a registered nurse for the cost of a local call.
Parentline Victoria – phone 13 22 89 – Available 8am – midnight, 7 days a week a telephone service for parents and carers of children from birth to 18 years old, which offers confidential and anonymous counselling and support on parenting issues.
Kids Help Line - phone 1800 551 800 – A 24-hour telephone service that provides phone and online counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25.

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