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.
The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, supported by the Housing Call Centre have established a Personal Hardship Assistance Program (PHAP) for those affected by bushfires.
This hotline will support affected Victorians by providing information on PHAPs, including eligibility criteria and guidance as to where individuals and families can go for assessment.
This hotline is now live and will be available for all Victorians 7 days a week from 9am - 5pm.
For more information on the PHAP, please see https://services.dhhs.vic.gov.au/personal-hardship-assistance-program or call the hotline number 1800 961 054.
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 emergency financial assistance and 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 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
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 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.
If you want to help
The best way to help is to donate to the Red Cross appeal https://www.redcross.org.au/campaigns/disaster-relief-and-recovery-donate or the Bendigo Bank appeal https://www.bendigobank.com.au/appeals/bushfire-appeals/ or CFA Victoria, Victoria Bushfire Recovery https://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/about/supporting-cfa.
Donations of goods are no longer being received.
Council no longer require volunteers or offers of accommodation. Should this change we will send out communications to the community.
We would like to thank all those that have supported our community through this difficult time.
Smoke can affect you, your family and staff. Monitor the air quality in your area and wear the appropriate respiratory aids as recommended. For details on the quality can be found on the EPA’s website https://www.epa.vic.gov.au/EPAAirWatch.
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/
If safe to do so and prior to being advised to evacuate it is recommended you take photographs of contents and assets prior to evacuating.
Landholders needing emergency fodder for livestock should contact the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) on 1300 882 833 between 9am and 5pm or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Farmers wishing to donate good quality fodder or paddocks available to agist livestock should contact the VFF to register.
Agriculture Victoria provides technical and decision making support services to assist livestock impacted from bushfires. If you have any injured livestock, please report to Agriculture Victoria on 1800 226 226. For more information www.agriculture.vic.gov.au
Information on updated road closures is available via 13 11 70 or the VicTraffic website https://traffic.vicroads.vic.gov.au/
Safety Around Electricity and Gas Following Bushfires
Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) has developed an advice page for bushfire-affected communities, which covers safely turning power back on, solar panel installations, generators, and liquid petroleum gas (LPG), visit https://esv.vic.gov.au/safety-education/bushfire-and-powerline-safety/bushfire-safety-advice/. The electricity distribution business serving North East Victoria is AusNet Services, ph: 131 799.
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;