By TOM GANNON
ACTING Premier James Merlino visited Traralgon yesterday to announce further financial assistance for flood affected households.
The emergency re-establishment payments of up to $42,250 per family are immediately available for people with a primary residence that is uninhabitable for more than seven days because of the Victorian floods.
Applications for these payments can be made through emergency.vic.gov.au or by emailing email@example.com.
The grants will provide support for emergency accommodation and repairs at flood affected homes.
“We want to get people back in their homes as quickly as possible,” Mr Merlino told media.
“It goes to a whole variety of things, whether it’s support for accommodation, major repairs at home, repairing damage or purchasing items that have been lost in the flood.”
The announcement follows existing hardship support that is available to address people’s immediate needs for food, water, accommodation and clothing.
“Over the last week we’ve had the immediate hardship assistance grants of up $2000 per family, around $586 per adult and $280 per child but now we need to go the next stage,” Mr Merlino said.
Mr Merlino also said further financial assistance would soon be available for affected businesses.
“There will be engagement with local council, engagement with industry and engagement with individual businesses in terms of what damage they have sustained,” he said.
“These are really important steps because we want to make sure the community has got the support it needs to get out of this.”
Mr Merlino stressed that assistance would continue as flood-affected areas attempt to recover.
“My message to the valley is simple and clear, we are with you in this, we stand with you, we are going to work with you as you get back on your feet,” he said.
The Acting Premier warned of further flooding potentially continuing this week.
“We’re not over this yet, whilst the flooding is receding and we are moving very quickly into relief and recovery it’s not over yet and there may well be further rain later in the week,” he said.
Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp addressed outrage over the timing of emergency warnings as many businesses and residents said evacuation alerts came too late.
“There was a gap there, but when you think about from Tuesday through to the Thursday there were a lot of warnings given to the community,” he said.
“We will be sitting down and looking at not just what happened here, but across the state as a whole in relation to warnings.”
By TOM GANNON