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Bushfire Recovery

Information on where to access latest updates on information for those affected by the January 2020 bushfires.

During any emergency, please visit the Vic Emergency website, app or Facebook page. 

Rate Relief - January 2020 Bushfires

The Rural City of Wangaratta has received $660k funding from the Victorian Government’s Council Assistance Fund. These funds have been made available to the six local councils in the declared State of Disaster area and can be used by Council to waive part of the 2019/20 rates raised in accordance with the Local Government Act 1989.

This rate relief is intended to alleviate financial hardship experienced by those ratepayers most significantly impacted by the January 2020 bushfires. Those eligible have either (i) been directly impacted (i.e. burnt property), or, (ii) lost significant business income as a direct result of these bushfires.

Who will receive rate relief?

Council has approved the use of this funding for those who fall within the following categories:

Category Financial Relief Amount
Directly Impacted : Properties burnt by bushfire The equivalent value of the annual rates, fire services levy and waste service charges for the full 2019/20 year, will be automatically credited to your account.
Vineyard: Properties classified as ‘Vineyard’ (AVPCC 561) for rating purposes The equivalent value of the annual rates, fire services levy and waste service charges for the full 2019/20 year, will be automatically credited to your account.
Commercial: Properties located within the ‘Bushfire Affected Area’ and classified as ‘Commercial’ for rating purposes The equivalent value of the final instalment of rates, fire services levy and waste service charges for the 2019/20 year, will be automatically credited to your account. 

 

Is my ‘Commercial’ rated property located within the ‘Bushfire Affected Area’?
The Bushfire Affected Area is highlighted in this map.

What happens next?

Letters will be posted to all ratepayers identified above to notify you of this financial relief during the week commencing 23 March 2020. Your account will be automatically credited so you don’t need to do anything.

Rate Relief Application Form

Rate Relief FAQs

Fee Relief - January 2020 Bushfires

Council adopts fees for a range of regulatory functions each year as part of the annual budget process. 
This includes registration fees for food premises, caravan parks, health and beauty businesses as well as footpath advertising, trading and dining permits. 
Council will refund all fees collected under the Food Act 1984, Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008, Residential Tenancies Act 1997 and Community Local Law 2018. This is for any fees charged during the 2019/20 financial year for Rural City of Wangaratta businesses, and includes food business and caravan park registration, signage, footpath trading and on-street dining. 
Businesses still need to be registered with Council in accordance with the appropriate legislation, and provide any supporting information, such as copies of Public Liability Insurance if required. 
Council will send cheques out to businesses that have already paid any eligible fees during the current financial year. It is anticipated that this will be complete before the end of April. 

 

 

Recovery Resources

A number of public agencies now have recovery resources available;

Bushfire Recovery Victoria

This new dedicated agency has been established to work directly with local communities impacted by Victoria's bushfires. Visit the website or call 1800 560 760 https://www.vic.gov.au/bushfire-recovery-victoria

Disaster Recovery Allowance

Disaster assistance through the Department of Human Services has been extended to Rural City of Wangaratta residents affected by the fires. The fastest way to claim is to call 180 22 66. Visit  humanservices.gov.au/disaster for information on what the payment.

Bushfire Resources Webpage 
DHHS have consolidated all of their bushfire related information and fact sheets on to one website www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/campaigns/bushfire-emergency-information. The website includes information about mental health and recovery after a bushfire. 

Emergency Water Relief
South East Water is now the single point of contact for residents in bushfire affected areas who are without drinking and domestic water supply due to tank contamination. 
Anyone seeking emergency water assistance can contact South East Water on 13 18 51. For information visit https://southeastwater.com.au/NewsEvents/Pages/Emergency-water-relief-for-bushfire-affected-residents.aspx

RSPCA 
RSPCA Victoria has a webpage dedicated to assisting animals affected by bushfires and how the community can donate, visit https://www.rspcavic.org/services/emergency-assistance/helping-animals-affected-by-bushfires

Injured Wildlife

The care of sick, injured and orphaned wildlife must be referred to an authorised wildlife shelter or foster carer, wildlife rehabilitation organisation or veterinarian.

The Help for Injured Wildlife tool will help you locate and contact the closest relevant wildlife carers and rescue and rehabilitation organisations to help the injured wildlife.

Other handy information is available at https://www.wildlife.vic.gov.au/sick-injured-or-orphaned-wildlife/sick-injured-or-orphaned-wildlife


Agriculture Victoria 

Agriculture Victoria is supporting Gippsland and Upper Murray landholders impacted by recent fires through animal welfare assessments and assistance, farm impact assessments and the referral of urgent cases of personal need to the appropriate agencies, visit http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/agriculture/emergencies/recovery/gippsland-upper-murray-fires.

 

Insurance

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has set up a national hotline (1800 734 621) and is available to assist anyone with questions about their bushfire insurance policy.  https://www.insurancecouncil.com.au/

SES Factsheet
VICSES has information on the increased dangers of floods, storms and landslides following bushfires, visit https://www.ses.vic.gov.au/-/floods-storms-and-landslides-after-bushfires  

Red Cross online

Anyone who has evacuated is encouraged to register with Red Cross online via Register.Find.Reunite https://register.redcross.org.au/. This service registers, finds and reunites family, friends and loved ones after an emergency. There is currently a section for the Ovens Complex Fire.

Safety Guidance - WorkSafe 
WorkSafe has provided some safety guidelines to assist our fire affected communities;

 

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