Wednesday, June 12, 2024
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Several streams of funding announced for flood-affected communities

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The State Government has made several new announcements in the past week to assist flood-affected communities.

The following is a summary of the announcements, of which applies to the Mitchell and Macedon Ranges shires.

The $77.3 million Health and Education Recovery Fund will support the estimated 320 schools and 28 health services affected by the floods in Victoria this month – alongside a support package to give TAFE students training continuity, fund replacement uniforms and equipment for school students and set up temporary infrastructure to keep health services operating.

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Every affected government school will see its immediate remediation costs covered – with works such as repairing roofs, drying out inundated buildings, replacing floors and restoring utilities across school grounds. Grants of $10,000 will also help schools clean up their outdoor equipment like playgrounds.

Eleven TAFEs, including GOTAFE, have suffered damage or been cut off after the floods, and $8.3 million from the fund will support site assessments and immediate equipment replacement, as well as securing extra work placements for students to make up for any delays.

The government is also providing more than $23 million to support public health efforts, including deploying more healthcare staff to affected health services, and support to make sure VCE students can still complete their schooling successfully and deliver free kinder in flood-affected areas for the rest of term four.

The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority and Department of Education and Training will work with schools to make sure no student is disadvantaged during this exam period, with Derived Examination Scores to be automatically available to students who are directly affected by the flooding.

There will also be $5.5 million for a food relief package to deliver extra food to areas that need it most.

Food charities Foodbank Victoria, OzHarvest, Second Bite and FareShare will each receive up to $750,000 to help with food purchasing, extra staffing and delivery logistics, while $500,000 will help neighbourhood houses across the state to provide extra food in their communities and stay open for longer to support more Victorians.

Clean-up assistance is being provided through the jointly-funded federal and state Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements with an initial investment of $150 million to prioritise hazard assessments and clean-up.

The first phase of the program will be coordinated by Emergency Recovery Victoria, ERV, who will work with local contractors to demolish, remove and dispose of structures that were destroyed or damaged beyond repair by the floods.

Volunteers and donations

The State Control Centre will partner with Disaster Relief Australia to coordinate a volunteer effort.

Interested volunteers are encouraged to register their interest and skills at disasterreliefaus.org/vic-flood-recovery.

Not-for-profit donation service GIVIT, which supports communities across Australia affected by fire and flood emergencies, will act as a central point for financial donations. People can contribute at givit.org.au/storms-and-flooding.

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