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Storm and Flood Recovery News

Dear Resident, 

Now that lockdown has ended, it’s a time to safely get back together with family and friends. Connecting with each other and our communities is vitally important and something that many people have missed over the past 18 months.
 
It’s also important to support our local businesses as they open up – we all know they have had it hard for so long now – so how about popping down to the shops and start some early Christmas shopping!
Impact of October Storms 

The Yarra Ranges was yet again affected by storms on 29 October. 

Although less severe than the June storms, Yarra Ranges Council opened several Shower and Power sites throughout the municipality. Additional facilities also became available at Council-run pools to support community members impacted by the recent severe weather and power outages. Extra bins were made available for residents to dispose of emergency food waste due to power outages. 

Our new recovery website has information, advice and events related to the June storms. 

If you need support or advice around the June or October storms contact Yarra Ranges Council’s community recovery team on1300 368 333.

Visit our storm support site

Monbulk Aquatic Centre - Storm Damage Repairs Update

Due to the damage sustained in the June storm, Yarra Ranges Council is bringing forward the planned retiling of the 25-metre pool at Monbulk Aquatic Centre, which still remains closed. 

The 25m pool at the Aquatic Centre was due to be retiled in December and January however the closure has allowed those works to be brought forward.

This means that when finished, the result will be a fantastic-looking 25m pool without the ongoing issue of tiles cracking and causing inconvenience to the pool’s users. 

While the Monbulk Aquatic Centre is out of action, the Belgrave heated outdoor pool, Kilsyth Centenary heated indoor & outdoor pools, and the Yarra Centre are now open. Olinda Pool is expected to open on November 27. 

Further updates will be given once Council has more details about when work will begin.

Learn more

Recovery hubs hit the road 

Now that Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted, Yarra Ranges Council staff will be visiting storm impacted areas.
Our Community Recovery Hubs will be on the road in the coming weeks for community members to speak to Council staff and support agencies about their storm recovery needs.

Drop into any one of our Community Recovery Hub sessions:

  • Kalorama Oval front car park –25 November 2:30pm-6:30pm
  • Mount Dandenong Community Parklet near Olinda Pizza –30 November 2:30pm-6:30pm
  • Montrose Community Market – 4 December 9am-1:30pm
  • Olinda Community Parklet opposite Olinda Chemist – 7 December 2:30pm-6:30pm
  • Mt Evelyn Rotunda behind Community House – 14 December 2:30pm-6:30pm
For more information please contact communityrecovery@yarraranges.vic.gov.au or call the Community Recovery team on 1300 368 333.

Please note that dates may change in the case of extreme weather. COVID safe practices will apply at each Community Recovery Hub session. This essential service is available to all members of the community.
 

Members of Regional Community Recovery Committees to Be Announced Soon

Members for the Regional Community Recovery Committees (RCRC) will be announced soon with the committees set up to support communities to recover from COVID 19 and the recent storm event.

Yarra Ranges Council committed $800,000 for RCRCs, to gather information and identify the recovery priorities of their community to create a Community Led Recover Plan and recommend grant funding for community-led recovery projects.

We would like to thank all the community-minded individuals who put up their hand to be a part of one of four Regional Community Recovery Committees (RCRC), to support their local communities in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and recent storm event. 

Although Expressions of Interest for the RCRCs have now closed, you can still leave your ideas for community recovery on a note below.

Learn more

Yarra Ranges Municipal Recovery Plan

The first edition of the Municipal Recovery Plan will be presented to Council in December with details and action plans to lead the Council through our recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic and storms.

It's safe to say the Yarra Ranges has been hit really hard lately, so this Plan is designed to create a coordinated and well-managed recovery with the community at its core. 

The Plan will provide a consistent approach to recovery and the clear targeting of funding opportunities and support required by all levels of Government.  

Council will continue to work in partnership with both the Federal and State Government including agencies, such as Bushfire Recovery Victoria and other private sector organisations and community groups to deliver clear community outcomes.
 

Windermere Storm Recovery Support

Road covered by trees from storm damage

The Windermere Recovery Support program can provide free support for people who were affected by the June 2021 storms and flood.
 
Recovery support case workers are contacting residents at the moment to offer support and to navigate the various services that may be available for you as a result of storm and flood damage.
 
Support provided by case workers may include:

  • An initial brief chat about your needs and what next steps might be appropriate
  • Assistance with completing paperwork for financial claim processes, such as insurance companies or banks
  • Assistance with grant applications
  • Information on how to access local services for additional support and
  • Advocacy for priority access if required for your circumstances.
View 'Windermere Storm Recovery Support'
Prolonged Power Outage Support and Emergency Generator Program 
Generators on ground being made available for those affected by the storms

Relief is available for those who are still without power following the 29 October storms.  

The Victorian Government provided additional support for those who were still without power as a result of the storm on 29 October through a Prolonged Power Outage Payment and the provision of small generators to those most in need. 

From Monday 8 November generators became available to families and businesses who are still without power.

The Victorian Government is also providing a Prolonged Power Outage Payment (PPOP) of $1,680, per household for residents who were without power as at 12.01am Friday 5 November.

Visit www.energy.vic.gov.au/safety-and-emergencies/power-outages for more information.

View eligibility

Financial Counselling and Personal Hardship Assistance Program

Consumer Affairs Victoria is running a recovery support program for people impacted by the June 2021 Victorian storms and floods, with dedicated Recovery Support Workers that provide a single point of contact for those who need advice or support through the recovery process.   

The program can connect you to a financial counsellor to help you to: 
-    access relief for utility bills and other payments
-    understand your government income and other entitlements
-    negotiate with your bank on debt issues
-    identify if your insurance outcome is fair and appropriate and
-    explore your options and advocate on your behalf.

Financial Counselling services are available until 30 June 2022. Eastern Community Legal Centre may be able to provide advice to you regarding insurance matters.  All ECLC services are free. Monday to Friday - 9.00am to 5.00pm Tel:1300 32 52 00

Learn more

Bundled Branch Collection Dates

The 12-week special storm branch collection run by Yarra Ranges Council to assist landowners with the clean-up has come to an end. 

In that time, Council crews collected from 3,427 streets and provided 4,991 cubic meters of mulch back to the community. 

The annual bundled branch collection is now underway and will assist residents to remove any extra tree debris that may have fallen as a result of the recent October storm. Find out more about the collection including your collection dates at  Bundled Branch Collection Yarra Ranges Council

View collection dates

What you can expect from the Insurance Recovery Process

The Insurance Council of Australia and insurers are helping our community to recover.

To assist you with your insurance recovery there are typical insurance stages you can expect your
claim to follow. The six steps are: 
Step 1: make Safe
Step 2: assessing the damage
Step 3: scope of Work (or Statement of Work)
Step 4: repair
Step 5: cash settlement
Step 6: feedback/ complaints

For any claims or questions you may have contact your insurer, or for general information, you can contact the Insurance Council of Australia on 1800 734 621.

Council Gardens Benefit from Mulch

The remaining mulch from the October storms will be allocated to specific projects across the Council Parks and Bushland network, to keep the area looking great for our residents.

Since June, Council has collected more than 31,000 tonnes of wood, stumps and branch debris.

Of the 31,000 tonnes, more than 17,000 cubic metres of mulch for our community and since its inception, Council has received lots of positive feedback and it sounds like we will have lots of happy plants and gardeners across Yarra Ranges.

Access to Parks and Outdoor Areas Crucial for Mental Health 

The Yarra Ranges Environment and Infrastructure Team has been working hard to maintain the region's parks and trails despite recent storm damage.
 
Throughout the pandemic there has been a rise in visitation numbers to the municipality’s trails and parks. Yarra Ranges Council understands the importance of our parks and natural trails and the Council's Environment and Infrastructure Team has been fastidiously tending to these areas to ensure they remain open and safe for the public.
 
Since the June storms, thorough safety inspections have been undertaken across the municipality’s outdoor areas and currently all 212 parks and 1215 trails are open to the public. Parks Victoria has also been working hard to open trails with the Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden, Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens and Pirianda Gardens all open to the public. 

Evidence shows that regular contact with nature and the outdoors can play an important preventive role in mental health by reducing stress and increasing quality of life.

Further information to help you plan and decide the best way forward to get you back into your home is also available at our website

Helpful contact information

Yarra Ranges Council - Community Recovery Team
For a range of support services and advice, contact Yarra Ranges Council's community recovery team.
1300 368 333
communityrecovery@yarraranges.vic.gov.au
Bushfire Recovery Victoria Storm and Flood Hotline
Access your own Recovery Support Worker
Mental health and wellbeing support
Financial counselling support
Information on available payments
1800 560 760
https://www.vic.gov.au/storm-clean-up-program
Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria (EMOV)
For resolving complaints about electricity, gas and water companies. Free for Victorian customers.
www.ewov.com.au
1800 500 509
EACH Financial Counselling Service
Financial counselling is a free and confidential service available for anyone affected by an emergency.
9871 1817
fcintake@each.com.au
Eastern Community Legal Centre (ECLC)
People living in the Yarra Ranges can seek free legal advice from ECLC.

1300 325 200
eclc@eclc.org.au
https://eclc.org.au/
 
Material Aid
If you are experiencing hardship, information on where to access material aid and other services can be found on our website.
 
Insurance
The Insurance Council of Australia is the general insurance industry body. Following disasters, we work closely with the community, government and insurers to help residents recover.

Please contact your insurer with any claims questions you may have. For general information, you can contact the Insurance Council of Australia on:

1300 728 228. 

 
National Debt Helpline
The National Debt Helpline is a telephone financial counselling service open from 9.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.

The financial counsellors at the National Debt Helpline can put you in contact with your local face-to-face financial counselling service.

1800 007 007
www.ndh.org.au

Recovery Hubs
Appointments are now available through the Yarra Ranges Council Recovery Hub at Karwarra Gardens. Please call Jen Douglas, Community Recovery Hub Coordinator to arrange appointments or to ask any questions you may have.

Karwarra Gardens Recovery Hub - 0477 056 265
 
Renters Assistance
Tenant advice line 9416 2577
Monday to Friday 10.00 am – 2.00 pm
tenantsvic.org.au
Telecommunications
Free and independent phone and internet complaint services
1800 062 058
www.tio.com.au
Yarra Valley Water
If you’re concerned about being able to pay your bills, Yarra Valley Water can offer extra support and flexibility to suit your situation.
1800 994 789
https://www.yvw.com.au/help-advice/help-my-account/financial-help
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