The Victorian Government is standing with fire affected communities across Victoria, providing dedicated support coordinators to help affected families access the services and information they need to recover and start rebuilding their lives.
Premier Daniel Andrews and Bushfire Recovery Victoria Chair Ken Lay today announced a $14.4 million Victorian Bushfires Case Support Program will immediately be available for people in fire affected areas in Gippsland and North East Victoria.
Support coordinators will be a single point of contact for those who need it, working with local residents to link them directly with vital support – such as information and advice, mental health support or financial counselling.
They will also help with practical things like filling out paperwork, accessing grants and financial claims, and navigating all the services available through the local council, state and commonwealth governments.
The program also includes support for people who may have been impacted by the bushfires in these areas but live in other parts of Victoria. There is no charge for the services provided by this program, which is funded by the Victorian Government in partnership with Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.
This work will be supported and coordinated by Bushfire Recovery Victoria, with the Chair Ken Lay starting to visit bushfire affected communities this week now that the immediate fire threat has passed. BRV is a permanent dedicated agency that will work with communities to help them rebuild and recover.
Services will be delivered by Windermere and Gippsland Lakes Community Health in Gippsland, Gateway Health in Northern Victoria, and cohealth in other parts of the state. Windermere is also providing a statewide contact, advice and information service.
Culturally appropriate services will also be offered by local Aboriginal community Controlled Agencies to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Victorians needing support.
Affected Victorians can access a support coordinator by contacting their local council, visiting a recovery centre or calling 1800 560 760. Information about recovery centre locations and opening hours can be found at emergency.vic.gov.au
As stated by Premier Daniel Andrews
“Recovering from these devastating bushfires will take time, but having a dedicated person helping those who need it most will – at the very least – make that process a little easier.”
As stated by Bushfire Recovery Victoria Chair Ken Lay
“To all the people who are doing it tough, please don’t try to soldier on on your own. Reach out to these case workers and professionals so you and your loved ones get the help you need.”
As stated by Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers Luke Donnellan
“There are many families who have lost everything. The last thing they need is to be calling and coordinating different services – these case workers will ensure that doesn’t have to happen.”