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Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said the full extent of the flood damage was becoming clearer as waters subsided early yesterday, showing it would be a significant cost to residents and local communities.

“With hundreds of buildings impacted along with the loss of cars and machinery we can expect a damage bill in excess of $100 million dollars across Gippsland and Latrobe Valley,” Mr Chester said.

“Some houses in the Traralgon area are uninhabitable at the moment while other structures have sustained comparatively minor damage, at the same time we have seen major damage to community and sporting facilities along with the impact on local roads, bridges and water infrastructure.

“It’s difficult to get an exact number at this early stage but we can expect the recovery to take several months.”

Mr Chester encouraged impacted residents to apply for the Personal Hardship Assistance Program (PHAP).

PHAP assists people experiencing financial hardship because of a single house fire or a natural disaster-related emergency such as bushfire, flood, severe storm, or earthquake.

Emergency relief assistance may be available for up to seven days after the emergency event. A one-off payment is provided to help meet immediate needs, including emergency food, shelter, clothing, medication and accommodation.

A needs assessment is carried out by a Personal Hardship Assistance Officer to determine eligibility.

Payments are up to $560 per adult and $280 per child (up to a maximum of $1960 per eligible family) and are distributed via a prepaid debit card that could be used to make purchases via EFTPOS or withdraw cash from bank ATMs.

Personal hardship assistance payments are available to people whose homes are damaged or destroyed and are uninhabitable.

Contact your council or email EmergencyHardshipPayments@dffh.vic.gov.au for more information.

Information on disaster assistance is available on the Australian Government’s website at www.disasterassist.gov.au and the Vic Emergency website www.emergency.vic.gov.au/relief

 

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