Activate emergency grants now
17 December 2014
Nationals Member for Euroa Steph Ryan today issued an urgent call for the Victorian Government to immediately activate emergency grants arrangements for those impacted by bushfires in north east Victoria.
Ms Ryan visited communities affected by the three worst fires in the Euroa electorate today, including the Stewarton, Lake Rowan and Longwood East fires.
“Stock losses from the Lake Rowan fire are estimated to total more than 2000. Producers have also lost animals in the Stewarton fire as well as a significant amount of fencing,” Ms Ryan said.
“Assessments are still taking place for the Longwood fire area which now covers almost 5000 hectares, however a number of houses have been lost as well as stock and fencing and many residents in affected areas have evacuated to relief centres.
“It is within the Victorian Government’s control to immediately initiate Category A and B under the National Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) to provide support to individuals, primary producers and small businesses affected by the fires,” Ms Ryan said.
Ms Ryan said strong north easterly winds on Tuesday triggered more than 40 fires throughout the Euroa electorate, many started by lightning strikes as storms passed through the region on Monday night.
“People need to remain alert, particularly with conditions expected to worsen tomorrow,” Ms Ryan said.
“A number of roads are also impacted by the fires and I encourage anyone travelling throughout the area to check road conditions on the VicRoads or CFA website.
“Our emergency services have worked around the clock over the past 48 hours to protect lives and property and I commend them for their tireless efforts.”
Ms Ryan encouraged anyone in need of assistance to contact Department of Human Services or their local council in the first instance.
“My office is also open and I have staff on hand to provide assistance if required.”
Emergency relief centres are open at Wesley Hall in Bury Street, Euroa and the Drill Hall on the corner Bridge and Arundel Streets, Benalla. Assistance is available at these centres for anyone impacted by the fires and includes counselling services.
Contact details for anyone in need of assistance include:
- Strathbogie Shire Council 5795 0000
- Benalla Rural City 5762 2600
- Emergency Relief and Recovery Victoria www.recovery.vic.gov.au.
Photo taken by Hayley Jones at Strathbogie on the evening of 16 December 2014.