Wimmera bushfires emergency relief open

A STATE and Federal Government partnership will provide emergency relief for bushfire-hit areas of the Wimmera.

Bushfire Response Minister Kim Wells said as the damage was further assessed, people would start to receive payments and other assistance to help with the recovery effort.

“In the coming days we will provide further advice on specific locations where this assistance will be available as the impact of these bushfires becomes evident and communities begin to return to their homes,” he said.

Mr Wells said natural disaster relief and recovery arrangements could provide emergency relief, emergency re-establishment grants and measures to assist with emergency accommodation, food and clothing, the removal of debris, repairs, rebuilding and replacement of essential household contents.

The relief comes as authorities begin to count the cost of the 51,800-hectare fire that raged through the Grampians National Park.

The Department of Environment and Primary Industries has confirmed the loss of 27 homes, 63 sheds and 203 kilometres of fencing.

Livestock losses have also been heavy with the department reporting the death of 3000 sheep through the fire-affected areas and another 950 sheep still missing.

The Victorian Farmers Federation has launched an agistment register to help farmers affected by the fires.

President Peter Tuohey said the VFF had a responsibility to help.

“The federation has set up a process where farmers can register if they can assist by taking some stock on agistment,” he said.

Mr Tuohey said farmers could call 1300 882 833 to register their offer. 

He said information would be provided to fire-affected farmers.

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