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Bushfire support and information

We recognise this is a difficult time for our community. On this page you’ll find essential information and advice on support and services available to you provided by Council and other government and non-government agencies.

Community documents and videos


 

Bushfire Recovery Centre

We've opened a dedicated Bushfire Recovery Centre located at 24 Service Street, Bairnsdale. The Centre is a one-stop-shop for bushfire-related enquiries and access to support, open weekdays 8.30am to 5pm. To get in touch with the Centre, phone 03 5153 9500 and select 1, or email BushfireRecoveryContactCentre@egipps.vic.gov.au

 

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Recovery Centre is open by appointment only. Please call ahead to book.  

 


 

Bushfire Case Support

After a bushfire, people may be unsure of what to do next. The Bushfire Case Support program provides practical support for bushfire affected individuals and families.

 

Case Support Coordinators can help you with:

  • Discussing your needs and the next steps you could take 
  • Information and support to access services   
  • Completing paperwork   
  • Community information  
  • Financial counselling and assistance with insurance   
  • Advice for business owners

Support can be provided face to face, over the phone or at a location that suits you.

 

Learn more about the program, or to access the program contact a Windermere Case Support Coordinator by calling 0414 384 512 between 9am – 5pm weekdays, or contact Council’s Bushfire Recovery Centre to be referred to the program.

 


 

Financial support

Financial Support for those who have been affected by the bushfires is still available from a multitude of agencies:

  • Anglicare
  • Agriculture Victoria
  • Centrelink
  • DHHS
  • Red Cross
  • Salvation Army
  • St. Vincent De Paul
  • Victorian Business Grants
  • Windermere

If you have any questions regarding how to access financial support, please contact our Bushfire Recovery Centre on

03 5153 9500 and select 1.  

 



Local Support

Community Recovery Committees (CRC)

CRCs will keep local voices, know-how and expertise front and centre during recovery planning and delivery. Taking this place based, community-led approach will ensure projects, grants and support programs developed with community, and funded government, over the coming months and years will be the right fit for that community.

 

What a CRC is called and how it is established may differ from district to district and CRCs will be at different stages along their journey. That's okay – it’s what community-led recovery is all about.

 

As CRCs and other community-led processes are established, this section of our website will be the place to find updates about community-led recovery in fire affected communities and how you can get in touch and involved.

 

For further information on your local CRC, or other community representative groups, call Bushfire Recovery Victoria on 1800 560 760 or email connect@brv.vic.gov.au

 

Community Recovery Committees have, or are being, established for the following regions:

  • Bruthen
  • Buchan, Gelantipy and Districts
  • Cann Valley
  • Clifton Creek
  • Mallacoota and District
  • Omeo, Cobungra, Swifts Creek and Ensay
  • Orbost and District
  • Sarsfield
  • Wairewa

If you are interested in learning about the CRC for your district, contact your relevant Place Manager as listed below.

 

 


 

Place Managers

As part of East Gippsland Shire Council’s commitment to supporting communities in their recovery using a place, partnership and community led approach, we have a team of eight Place Managers working across the Shire.

 

Place Managers act as facilitators - building community connections and capacity and sharing information and knowledge in order to strengthen community resilience, improving two-way communication and supporting outcomes (between community and Council), and providing a platform where community can articulate needs and Council can support. Our Place Managers and the areas they support are below:

  • Buchan and Gelantipy – Suzie Healy
  • Cann Valley District – Annie Kentwell
  • Clifton Creek – Megan Dennett

  • Errinundra to Snowy District; Wairewa – Peter Balmer

  • Mallacoota – Eva Grunden
  • Omeo District – Anthony Nelson

  • Orbost District – Andrew McCreery

  • Sarsfield, Bruthen and Clifton Creek – Kathryn Macdonald

  • Place planning and support – Sueanne Claringbould 

All place managers can be contacted through our Bushfire Contact Centre by calling 03 5153 9500 and selecting option 1.

 


  Farm, livestock and water

Agriculture Victoria staff are working with affected landholders to assess injured livestock and losses of agricultural assets and livestock. Agriculture Victoria can also provide technical advice and help you make decisions on topics such as:

  • agisting livestock affected by a bushfire
  • assessing livestock after a bushfire
  • stock containment areas
  • pasture recovery

    For more info on these topics go to Agriculture Victoria's Gippsland and North East Fires Recovery page or call 136 186. If you're looking to report wandering livestock, please call us on 03 5153 9500.

     

    Water supply

    Those whose water has been affected by the bushfires can access emergency untreated water supplies at:

  • Swifts Creek Recreation Reserve has a connection point for people to fill up a water cube. You need a male 50mm Camlock fitting and pump. Limit use to 1,000 litres each so resources are not depleted.
  • Goose Gully (90 Balfours Rd, Lucknow) has a standpipe. Use is capped at 4,000 litres per person per day. 7am to 7pm daily.

    For more information visit the Southern Rural Water website or phone 03 5139 3100.

      

    Fencing waste stockpile sites

    Sites have been set up by DELWP and Council to stockpile agricultural metal/wire only waste.

    Council has negotiated with a private contractor to collect this waste metal from these stockpile sites:

  • Ensay North: Blowhard gravel pit, Little River Road
  • Cobungra: Plowmans property at Tolands Road
  • Newmerella Recreation Reserve (western side of the showgrounds near highway, away from horse yards)
  • Buchan: old sawmill, 2286 Bruthen-Buchan Road
  • Omeo: 181 Depot Road
  • Wairewa” DELWP water point area, Carl Smith Road (site has been signed and flagged)
  • Nowa Nowa: old railway station
  • Cann River: old gravel pit off Cemetery Track
  • Lakes Entrance Landfill 5155 2148
  • Bairnsdale Landfill 5152 6535 with a call ahead.

 


 

Mental health and wellbeing

Individuals affected by bushfire can experience a range of thoughts, feelings and behaviours that can be intense, confusing and frightening. There are a number of support services available to the community, you'll find the details of these below. If you're unsure of who to reach out to, please get in touch with our local Bushfire Recovery team by phoning 03 5153 9500 and selecting 1, or by emailing BushfireRecoveryContactCentre@egipps.vic.gov.au.

  • Lifeline: 131 114 | 24-hour telephone counselling, information and referral service. 
  • BeyondBlue: 1300 224 636 | Provides information on depression and anxiety. To access professional counselling services, please make contact with your GP and ask for a referral. 
  • Kids Help Line: 1800 551 800 | Confidential telephone counselling service for young people aged 5–25 years. 
  • Headspace: 1800 650 890 | Free online support and counselling to young people 12 - 25 and their families and friends.
  • ParentLine: 132 289 | Counselling and information for families with children (up to 18 years) from 8am to midnight, 7 days a week. 
  • Men’s Line Australia: 1300 789 978 | 24–hour counselling and advice for men.  
  • Safe Steps Family Violence Support: 1800 015 188 | 24-hour family violence support service.
  • Family Violence support:  1800 737 732 | There is an increased risk of family violence after an emergency. Help is available by confidentially calling 1800 737 732 or by going to the 1800 Respect website
  • Windermere: 1300 946 337 | Counselling and support for people of all ages affected by the bushfires.

 


 

Other matters

Secondary property assessments

Secondary property assessments are paused whilst stage 3 COVID-19 restrictions are in place.

 

Emergency works - native vegetation

In the aftermath of the bushfires, you may be wondering what to do about damaged native vegetation on your property. If you believe fire-damaged trees on your property are a safety risk, you need to get a qualified aborist to inspect the tree to determine whether the tree is a risk. Council does not inspect trees on private property, so you will need to arrange your own arborist. 

 

Removal of any vegetation that does not fit the above criteria may need planning approval. Contact council on 03 5153 9500 to discuss your situation.

 

Rebuilding sustainably

Some people are starting to consider their options for rebuilding homes and property that have been lost in the fires. East Gippsland Shire Council is committed to assisting our community in its recovery, every step of the way.

On our dedicated rebuild webpage you can find information about planning and building, our new Bushfire Rebuild Support Service, helpful links and fact sheets.

 

House design is rapidly evolving to meet the challenge of climate change, and new products are being developed to enable greater energy efficiency and resilience in the home. If you are building or renovating it is important to do your research and to keep as up-to-date as possible on the latest developments, or to engage a designer or builder who meets your needs.

 

We have two East Gippsland Shire-specific booklets with useful information that can be downloaded:

 

Smart_Living_guide_front_cover.jpg

Smart Living: A guide to sustainable building (for energy efficiency)

 

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Building Resilience: A guide to consider climate change in East Gippsland houses

Either download an electronic copy or collect a hardcopy from your nearest shire library or service centre. You can also request a hardcopy be posted to you by contacting sustainability@egipps.vic.gov.au with your name and postal address.

 

Fact sheets

Useful contacts

 

  • Council’s Bushfire Recovery Centre: 24 Service Street Bairnsdale, 8:30am – 5pm weekdays, call 03 5153 9500 and select 1, or email BushfireRecoveryContactCentre@egipps.vic.gov.au
  • Centrelink: 132 850
  • Windermere Case Support Program: 0414 384 512
  • Insurance Council of Australia disaster hotline: 1800 734 621
  • Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS): Free financial counselling to farmers and small related businesses who are in, or at risk of financial hardship. Call 1300 045 747
  • Farm household allowance: For farming families in financial hardship. Call the Farmers Assistance Hotline on 132 316 (Mon to Fri, 8am to 8pm).
  • State Trustees: 1300 138 672
  • Superannuation (early access on compassionate grounds): 1300 131 060 | Department of Human Services
  • Victorian Disaster Legal Aid: 1800 677 402
  • Consumer Affairs Victoria: Information and advice about your rights and obligations following an emergency, including on renting and rebuilding, and insurance. Visit the website or call 1300 558 181.
  • Australian Passport Information Service: You may be eligible for a free replacement passport if it has been lost or damaged in the bushfire.  Call 131 232.
  • Telstra: 132 203 to register for a relief package and/or assistance with free or interim services during the recovery period.

 

 

 

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