Assistance for bushfire affected

SMALL businesses, primary producers and not-for-profit organisations affected by the Aberfeldy-Donnellys bushfires could be eligible for low-interest loans of up to $200,000.

In a statement, Deputy Premier Peter Ryan said low-interest concessional loans of 1.7 per cent would be administered by the Rural Finance Corporation.

“These low-interest loans will go some way towards helping alleviate the financial burden of costs incurred by primary producers, small business and not-for-profit bodies as a direct result of the bushfires,” Mr Ryan said.

The cost of the loans is being shared between the state and federal governments. Under the Victorian Personal Hardship Assistance Program the following assistance is available to eligible households:

? Emergency relief assistance, which provides payments of up to $480 per adult and $240 per child up to a maximum of $1200 per household to cover emergency shelter, food, clothing, or personal items; and

? Emergency re-establishment assistance, which provides up to $30,000 per household for clean-up, emergency accommodation, repairs, rebuilding and replacing some damaged contents.

People seeking emergency support or advice about their eligibility for financial assistance under the program should phone their local council or the Victorian Emergency Recovery Information Line on 1300 799 232.

Information about the Personal Hardship Assistance Program is also available at

Information on low interest loans is available from Rural Finance on

1800 260 425 or visit

Damage assessments are ongoing in the Gippsland region.