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Guiding bushfire recovery

13/01/2020

Regional Development Victoria is standing with our communities as our state emergency services and agencies continue to battle the recent and ongoing bushfires across Gippsland and the north of our state.

RDV has a long history of working with other government agencies and local government to provide support to businesses and communities following disaster events.

We welcome the Victorian Government’s decision to create the new Bushfire Recovery Victoria agency to guide the recovery process.

The new agency will sit within the Department of Premier and Cabinet to ensure whole-of-government coordination, including working with Regional Development Victoria, so that communities impacted by the devastating bushfires can begin the long process of rebuilding.

RDV is currently following the situation closely and we are in touch with many of the affected businesses and communities to assist with immediate needs and plan our future economic development work within those communities.

Following a generous outpouring of support from across the state, the Victorian Government has launched a new fund dedicated to helping those impacted by the recent and devastating bushfires.

Established in partnership with the Bendigo Bank Community Enterprise Foundation and the Salvation Army, the new Victorian Bushfire Appeal will provide practical support to those beginning the process of rebuilding their lives.

The use of funds will help to meet the most urgent needs of local families – covering the cost of everything from groceries to replacing school uniforms.

The Appeal will also help address the most immediate priorities of communities, including the rescue and rehabilitation of local wildlife.

The Victorian Government will contribute $2 million to the fund – matching existing bushfire funds generously donated by Victorians – and ensuring impacted families and communities have the support they need right away.

Those wanting to make their own donations can do so, by visiting vic.gov.au/bushfireappeal.

To date, Victoria’s recent fires have already destroyed more than a million hectares and hundreds of buildings, displacing thousands of people and leaving many local families in desperate need of help.

Further updates regarding the work of Bushfire Recovery Victoria will be available at www.vic.gov.au/brv.

Victorian Government relief and recovery advice and information

Provider

Assistance offered

Further information

Emergency Relief and Recovery - Victoria

Provides information regarding State level support services and programs to assist families, businesses and farmers affected by emergencies across Victoria.

www.emergency.vic.gov.au/relief

Immediate Assistance

ProviderAssistance offeredFurther information
Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) Fee Relief – in the case of natural disaster, ASIC can review late lodgement and late payment fees incurred as a result of matters outside your control and waive them in some circumstances. asic.gov.au/for-business/payments-fees-and-invoices/fee-waivers/
Australian Tax Office (ATO) Dealing with disasters – an ATO portal linking to information regarding ways that individuals and businesses can manage tax obligations following a disaster. ato.gov.au/Individuals/Dealing-with-disasters
Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) - Victoria Financial Crisis Support – provides links to immediate assistance for individuals, including accommodation, food and clothing as well as the Personal Hardship Assistance Program (PHAP). services.dhhs.vic.gov.au/financial-crisis-support
Department of Human Services (DHS)/Centrelink - Commonwealth Provides information on support and services that may be available if you are experiencing severe financial hardship, recovering from a disaster, or in need of special assistance. humanservices.gov.au/customer/subjects/crisis-and-special-help
Major banks Most major and some smaller banks provide assistance to address short term financial difficulties arising as a result of the impact of a disaster. See bank websites for information on hardship and business needs.

Other advice and information

ProviderAssistance offeredFurther information
Business Victoria website An online resource to assist small businesses with information and details of support services. www.business.vic.gov.au
Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) VCCI provides information, business support and advice on workplace relations provisions for businesses and workers affected by natural disaster and emergencies and lost patronage. www.victorianchamber.com.au
Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) Information on employment conditions during natural disaster and emergencies, including what happens if a business has to close temporarily and information about taking sick, carer or community service leave. www.fairwork.gov.au/how-we-will-help/templates-and-guides/fact-sheets/rights-and-obligations/employment-conditions-during-natural-disasters-and-emergencies
CPA Australia Disaster Recovery Toolkit – provides advice and a series of checklists for businesses impacted by disaster. www.cpaaustralia.com.au/professional-resources/business-management/business-recovery/disaster-recovery-toolkit
Disaster Assist - Commonwealth Commonwealth government site that provides up-to-date public information messages, relevant free call numbers, information on Australian Government assistance packages and links to other relevant websites. www.disasterassist.gov.au
MoneySmart
(run by ASIC)
Free, independent guidance to assist individuals to make the most of their money. Includes advice on ‘Storms, Fires and Floods’ and ‘Urgent Money Help.’ www.moneysmart.gov.au
Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS) Free, independent financial advice and support for farming families and small rural businesses. www.ruralfinancialcounselling.org.au
Small Business Mentoring Service (SBMS) Professional mentoring support for small businesses. This service is often funded by Government following a disaster, but government subsidised mentoring is available at any time for a fee. www.sbms.org.au
Tourism industry resources Crisis Resources – provides a series of downloadable resources to assist businesses and local and regional tourism organisations to plan for, respond to, and recover from crisis events. www.business.vic.gov.au/tourism-industry-resources

Plus you can find additional bushfire recovery information through the following:

Agriculture Victoria (including animal welfare) Web: agriculture.vic.gov.au
Phone: 136 086
Personal Hardship Assistance Program

Web: services.dhhs.vic.gov.au or
emergency.vic.gov.au/relief
Phone: 1800 226 226

Australian Government Disaster Web: disasterassist.gov.au
Rural Financial Counselling Service Phone: 1800 686 175
Urgent concerns about your own, or the mental health of others Mental Health Services: 1800 808 284 (24 hours). Lifeline: 13 11 14
MensLine: 1300 789 978
Beyondblue: 1300 224 636
Kid’s Helpline: 1800 55 1800
Nurse on Call: 1300 606 024
General support Web: recovery.vic.gov.au
Phone: 1300 799 232


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