Friday, June 21, 2024

Boost to Victorian flood recovery fund

Victorian communities affected by the recent December and January storms and floods are set to receive additional support from the State and Federal Governments.

The package announced today includes more than $105 million for increased financial assistance to support the immediate and long-term recovery and rebuild phase.

The assistance will be jointly funded under Category A and B ofthe Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements(DRFA) and includes:

  • Emergency roadworks from larger-scale works like the rebuilding of roads, bridges and culverts – particularly in the Gippsland, Hume, Loddon Mallee and Eastern Metropolitan regions – to finding and fixing potholes, asphalting and repairing road surfaces damaged by the severe weather events to get floodaffected Victorians back on the road.
  • Expanding the Emergency Recovery Hotline which enables residents affected by disasters to access information about available programs that can help them recover and connect them with mental health, business, legal and financial support services.
  • Expanding the Recovery Support Program which can provide storm and flood-impacted residents with access to a dedicated Recovery Support Worker, playing an important role to connect them to critical services and support programs specific to their recovery journey.
  • Additional mental health and wellbeing support including psychological First Aid training programs, face-to-face mental health and wellbeing support from the Bendigo Mental Health and Wellbeing hub, free and subsidised telepsychology services from Rural Health Connect, and proactive emergency outreach visits and group counselling sessions.

Federal Minister for Emergency Management, Murray Watt says the additional support services will be available in the 28 Local Government Areas where disaster assistance is
already available, including the Personal Hardship Assistance Program (PHAP), which continues to support eligible storm and flood-affected Victorians, and support to councils to repair and restore essential public assets.

“This significant investment will boost recovery for individuals, families, homeowners, businesses, and councils in Victoria recovering from this widespread flooding event,” he said.

“Previous assistance for Councils and individuals is already making a big difference on the ground, but this new funding program will expedite the response for a number of communities.

“The breadth of the programs we are jointly funding demonstratesthat we are listening to community, we recognise the broad range of needs, and that we are working with all levels of government to deliver that support where we can.”

Minister for Emergency Services Jaclyn Symes thanked councils, community groups, emergency services workers and volunteers for their collaboration in supporting recent critical response work.

“As communities begin to recover and rebuild, we will be there to support them each step of the way – this includes vital support for mental health and wellbeing during this difficult recovery phase,” she said.

“We’re making a significant investment in fixing damaged roads to ensure that work Victorians in storm and flood-affected areas can get back on the road as soon as possible,” said Victorian Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Melissa Horne.

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