Photos taken by FFMVic crews in Cobaw State Forest in July show the sheer scale of the clean-up, the extent of the damage and the heavy machinery needed to remove and clear the areas for public safety.

RESIDENTS of the Macedon Ranges affected by the June storms can now apply for disaster recovery payments.

Member for McEwen Rob Mitchell said he had finally received confirmation that Macedon Ranges had been added to the list of Local Government Areas impacted by the June 9 storms, that could access Federal Government Disaster Payments.

“It was really bewildering that Macedon Ranges had been left off the list when we know that so many across Macedon, Woodend, Newham, Lancefield and Gisborne were badly hit by ferocious winds,” he said.

“We know that more than 1000 requests for help were made in our area after the storm ripped through our area, with enormous swathes of trees torn down causing significant damage to many properties, cutting road access, power and host of other severe problems.

“I’m pleased to say that we’ve now been able to rectify the bureaucratic error that saw Macedon Ranges left of the list of affected areas that were deemed eligible for these payments.”

Mr Mitchell said he was disappointed the government had taken so long to include Macedon.

He said residents who suffered injuries or major damage to their property could apply for the one-off, non-means tested payment of $1000 per eligible adult and $400 per eligible child.

Applications must be made by December 31.

For more details visit www.disasterassist.gov.au or phone 180 22 66.

Meanwhile, Macedon Ranges Shire Council encourages storm-affected residents to register with Bushfire Recovery Victoria, BRV, by October 31.

The cut-off date is for new registrations only.

The cut-off date does not apply to people who have already registered and are waiting for a call-back, site assessment, or works to begin.

The initiative, known as the Residential Storm and Flood Clean-up program, has been accepting registrations since early July 2021.

Council’s municipal recovery manager Tony Grimme said residents across the shire were still feeling the effects of the June storms and encouraged people to register before the October 31 cut-off.

“If you were impacted by the June storm, make sure you register now so you can take up the assistance being offered. Once you have registered, a BRV representative will make contact to discuss how the program works,” he said.

Mr Grimme said inter-agency partnerships had been an important part of the ongoing recovery process.

“We would like to thank Bushfire Recovery Victoria for their ongoing support during the clean-up and recovery, and acknowledge the work they have done with many local property owners,” he said.

“There is still time for Macedon Ranges Shire residents to register, and I encourage them to do so.”

To find out more about the clean-up program, call 1800 560 760 or visit www.brv.vic.gov.au/cleanup.

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