February 2024 Storm Event - Community Support Updates

The storm event on Tuesday 13 February has had a big impact on residents and towns in the Baw Baw Shire, and Council will continue to work with those who have been affected.

Click the dropdowns below for the latest information and supports available for impacted residents.

Council will continue to provide updates to the community as the situation across the Shire changes.

Free green waste

Free green waste disposal - 16 Feb to 30 April 2024

Baw Baw Shire Council is offering residents the opportunity to dispose of acceptable green waste free of charge at Council transfer stations from Friday 16 February until Tuesday 30 April 2024.

Commercial contractors disposing of green waste on behalf of storm affected residents can also drop off at the Transfer stations for free. 

Please note, standard Transfer Station opening times apply (see below). 

Transfer station opening times:

  • Trafalgar Transfer Station – Sat to Mon: 10.00am to 4.00pm
  • Erica Transfer Station – Mon, Wed, Sun: 12.00pm to 4.00pm
  • Lardner Transfer Station – Every day: 10.00am to 4.00pm
  • Neerim South Transfer Station – Fri and Sun: 10.00am to 4.00pm

Acceptable green waste

Acceptable green waste includes tree debris, branches, foliage and general green waste. Maximum size limit for a large branch is 30cm round and 1m long. No large tree stumps will be accepted.

Due to site access restrictions, waste must be delivered in residential vehicles and trailers.

Proof of local residency or ownership

This support for the community is open to all Baw Baw Shire residents who have been impacted by the storm event, whether they are the property owner or a tenant. To assist Council in recovering costs through any disaster recovery funding arrangements made available, people are asked to bring a driver’s licence, plus a rates notice or utility bill showing their address. Contractors are asked to provide written evidence from the resident that they are acting on their behalf.

Residents are asked to please be patient as the transfer stations will be busier than usual.

Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund Appeal - Donate now!

The Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund has launched an appeal to raise funds to support Gippsland residents impacted by the current storm emergency.

Donations to the appeal can be easily made via the GERF website www.gerf.org.au and all donations over $2.00 are tax deductible.

Every dollar donated to the appeal is distributed to those affected by the storm and individuals. Your donation will be helping us to help others in their time of need.

The Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund has been supporting Gippsland residents impacted by natural disaster since 1978 and is run completely by volunteers.

Relief payments for residents with damaged property

The Victorian Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH) Personal Hardship Assistance Program (PHAP) relief payments are available for eligible community members whose homes have been damaged by the storms in Victoria. 

You are eligible for a relief payment if:

  • your principal place of residence is in an evacuation warning area, or storms have damaged your home, and
  • you have unmet immediate relief needs.

If you think you may be eligible for a relief payment, please call the Vic Recovery Hotline:

  • 1800 560 760 (Press 9 for an interpreter if needed)

Please note that these payments are not available for people who are experiencing power outage alone.  If you have experienced power outage for seven days or more, you may be eligible for a Prolonged Power Outage Payment. See the dropdown tab below for more information. 

Payments for residents with prolonged power outages

Expanded Eligibility for Power Outage Payments - 26 February

The eligibility criteria for the Prolonged Power Outage Payments (PPOP) has been extended to reflect the unique nature of two extreme storm events in short succession.

To ensure Victorians continue to be supported through the impacts of both events, the eligibility criteria for the PPOP has been expanded to households that have been without power for seven days cumulatively, as a result of both extreme weather events on Tuesday 13 February and Thursday 22 February.

The Prolonged Power Outages Payments are $1,920 per week, for up to three weeks.  

Households who may be eligible will be proactively notified by their distribution business. Funding will be allocated through a payment application process, by which residential customers will be invited to apply for the payment. The payment will be administered by distribution businesses and will help families buy much-needed basic items and find alternative accommodation to get through this difficult period.

 For small businesses (those with a Victorian payroll less than $10 million a year) who are affected, payments of $2,927 per week will be made.

Payments for households and businesses will be available for up to 3 weeks.

The eligibility expansion for the PPOP payment only applies to the 13 February and 22 February events and is jointly funded by the Australian and Victorian Governments through the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

Distribution businesses will proactively message impacted customers, and publish information on their website on eligibility criteria, as well as information on how these payments will be applied.

For more information about the Prolonged Power Outage Payment program, please visit the Victorian Government webpage.  

Customers impacted by power outages may also be eligible for assistance under the Victorian Guaranteed Service Level payments. Assistance is in the form of electricity bill credits – the amount customers are entitled will depend on individual circumstances.

To find out what other supports are available, contact the Emergency Recovery Hotline on 1800 560 760. Supports available includes mental health support, case management, business support and can connect people with the additional and existing services.

Roads

As of 26 February, Council's road maintenance contractor, DM Roads, have inspected all rural roads and have been working hard to clean up and address immediate hazards impacting our roads.

In addition to the surplus of reactive works, DM Roads has created a program to begin the cleanup of trees across the Baw Baw Shire Council.

The cleanup program will begin on Monday 4 March and be split into North and South Programs.

The South Program Crew will conduct works across the following areas of Baw Baw:

  • Moe South
  • Hernes oak
  • Coalville
  • Narracan
  • Delburn
  • Thorpdale
  • Thorpdale South
  • Childers
  • Allambee
  • Allambee Reserve
  • Yarragon South
  • Seaview
  • Ferndale
  • Trida
  • Strezlecki
  • Torwood
  • Ellinbank

The North Program Crew will conduct works across the following areas of Baw Baw:

  • Labertouche
  • Longwarry North
  • Drouin East
  • Jindivick
  • Rokeby
  • Bravington
  • Brandy Creek
  • Buln Buln
  • Buln Buln East
  • Neerim South
  • Neerim East
  • Neerim
  • Neerim Junction
  • Neerim North
  • Nayook
  • Piedmont
  • Noojee

Whilst the above clean-up programs are running, DM Roads will have four crews attending to reactive work, including hazardous trees, hangers, trees on fence lines, damaged standing trees, rural fencing and more.

Agricultural impact: reporting and recovery assistance

For farmers who have been impacted by the fires and storms and have urgent animal welfare needs, please contact Agriculture Victoria on  1800 226 226.

Self-reporting agricultural impacts:

The information you provide when reporting agricultural impacts is used to help government understand the scale and impacts of a particular natural disaster, including the delivery of appropriate recovery efforts and support.

For reporting agricultural impacts from the 13 February fires and storms, visit: MAX External (bio.vic.gov.au)

Agricultural recovery technical support:

If you would like technical assistance, please contact the Agriculture Recovery team on 0427 694 185 or at recovery@agriculture.vic.gov.au.

If leaving a message please provide a contact name, phone number and locality with a brief statement about the nature of your concern.