Greens Creek flood disaster grants available

ELIGIBLE farmers north and north-east of Stawell now have access to disaster relief grants more than two years after floods swept through the area.

A deluge in 2011 destroyed livestock worth $264,000 and damaged farm fencing to the value of $2.8 million, hitting farmers in Northern Grampians Shire.

Federal Minister for Justice Michael Keenan and Victorian Deputy Premier Peter Ryan announced assistance for farmers in the Greens Creek area on Tuesday.

Mr Keenan said farmers had until March 31 next year to make claims for assistance.

Mr Ryan said he was pleased the Greens Creek area was now eligible to receive the money.

“The Greens Creek area had previously been refused access to Category C clean-up and restoration grants due to an anomaly, which meant financial assistance was awarded on the basis of eligible postcodes,’’ he said.

“A number of affected properties in the Greens Creek area fell outside these eligible postcodes, which meant funding was withheld.’’

Mr Ryan credited Member for Western Victoria David O’Brien for his advocacy on the issue.

Mr O’Brien told State Parliament that 14 individual farm enterprises at Greens Creek were significantly affected by flooding in 2011.

Mr Ryan said the State and Federal Governments would assess the continued effects of past events on the communities affected and identify further recovery assistance required.

Member for Mallee Andrew Broad welcomed the update.

“Extending these grants to the Greens Creek community shows how the new Federal Government and State Government are working closely together for the benefit of regional communities impacted by natural disaster,’’ he said.

After the 2011 floods, seven of the 110 farmers affected in the Northern Grampians Shire received about $1000 from the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements.

Northern Grampians Shire representatives lobbied the State Government to ensure farmers received Category C grants of up to $25,000.

In September, councillors resolved to continue lobbying for flood recovery funding for the district.

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