More than $5 million raised through the Victorian Bushfire Appeal is being made available immediately to those most affected by the bushfires that have devastated East Gippsland and North-East Victoria, including families who have tragically lost a loved one.
With further funds rolling out in the coming days and weeks, this immediate support will go towards meeting the most urgent needs of local families and builds on the investments being made by the Victorian and Commonwealth Governments.
The support includes immediate payments of $50,000 to each of the families of the five people who have tragically died during Victoria’s recent bushfires.
$1 million – provided through BlazeAid – is being made available to help farmers replace boundary fences destroyed by the bushfires on their private property, helping to secure livestock and livelihoods.
Another $4 million is being released to support residents in bushfire affected areas who have experienced loss of, or damage to, their primary residence. These payments will range from $1,000 to $4,500 and will go to paying temporary accommodation costs, such as hotel bills.
Support will be made available through the Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund and The Salvation Army.
With a focus on ensuring communities have what they need for the weeks and months to come, additional funds from the Appeal will be released as quickly as possible, following further consultation and assessments by the Appeal’s Advisory Panel.
The recent bushfires have devastated communities, with five deaths, thousands of people displaced, and more than 1.5 million hectares of land and hundreds of buildings destroyed. Through this devastation, the generosity of Victorians has shone through, with the Victorian Bushfire Appeal already raising $24 million.
The Chair of the Advisory Panel is former leader of the Victorian Nationals, the Hon Pat McNamara, with an Advisory Panel also appointed to recommend the expenditure of funds – every dollar of which is going to bushfire affected communities.
Donations to the Appeal can be made by visiting vic.gov.au/bushfireappeal or any Bendigo Bank branch.
As noted by Minister for Emergency Services Lisa Neville
“This initial release of Appeal funds will go immediately to families who need it the most – families who have lost loved ones and families who have lost their homes.”
“The Victorian Government is covering the administrative costs for the delivery of these grants, ensuring that every single dollar that is donated goes directly to the people and communities affected by the bushfires.”
As noted by VBA Advisory Panel Chair Pat McNamara
“Our aim is to get these funds out to those in the greatest need as quickly and as transparently as possible.”
“While not replacing all that has been lost, these funds will help deal with the immediate needs of families in East Gippsland and the North-East to get back on their feet.”
All donations of $2 or more are tax deductible and donors will be provided with a tax receipt through the Foundation.
The appeal is conducted by the Bendigo Bank’s charitable arm, Community Enterprise Foundation. The National Bushfire Disaster Appeal and state-based Bushfire Disaster Appeals are management accounts of Community Enterprise Foundation™ ABN 69 694 230 518, The Bendigo Centre, PO Box 480, Bendigo, Vic 3552. The Foundation will make distributions by way of grants, following receipt of applications from organisations endorsed with an item 1 Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR).