Storm Recovery Information
On 11 November 2016 severe storms hit the Mildura Rural City Council area, the impact from the storms is still being felt by individuals, businesses and primary producers in the region. Recovering after such an event is a gradual process and the Council is assisting residents and businesses by connecting the community with relevant support services.
Ongoing Insurance Issues
If you are unhappy with how your insurance claim is progressing you may consider taking further action. You could:
Raise your complaints directly with your insurance company’s internal complaints area.
Raise your complaint with the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).
Request that another assessor inspects your property.
Contact Mallee Family Care for free legal and financial counselling services.
Although you may have complained to your insurer you may not have made a formal complaint. Most businesses have a complaints area that you can email, phone or send a letter to. Raising your dispute directly with the complaints area will escalate your concerns and your insurer will have 45 days to resolve the dispute with you.
Financial Ombudsman Service
If you have an unresolved dispute with your insurer you can seek help from The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). FOS offers independent dispute resolution for individuals or small businesses who are unable to resolve complaints directly. To lodge a dispute, phone 1800 367 287, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit fos.org.au.
You can speak to someone locally about any legal or financial issues at Mallee Family Care. They offer free and confidential services, phone (03) 5023 5966 or visit malleefamilycare.com.au.
Primary producers directly impacted by the November storms in the Mildura Rural City Council area are eligible for Recovery Grants. The $25,000 grants will help cover the expenditure involved in clean-up and reinstatement, including salvaging crops, purchasing of fodder, repair or replacement of essential equipment and disposal of damaged goods. To apply for a Recovery Grant contact Rural Finance Victoria by phone 1800 260 425 or visit www.ruralfinance.com.au. Applications must be made before 30 June, 2017.
The sooner your business returns to some degree of normality then the sooner you can restore income, jobs, goods and services for your customers and community. If you are looking for guidance and assistance for your business a great resource is the Disaster Recovery Toolkit for Business by CPA Australia. The toolkit outlines steps to recovery, a recovery plan and long-term recovery.
If your business has been impacted by the storms it is reassuring to know that the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will give you time additional time to lodge, pay and respond. For further information phone 1800 806 218 or visit www.ato.gov.au.
Health and Well-being
The physical impacts of the storms can be clearly seen but it is equally important that you pay attention to your own health and wellbeing. Disruption to routines and daily life can cause fluctuation in your mood and energy levels. If you are feeling overwhelmed some steps you can take are:
Talk to your doctor, a counsellor or trusted friend.
Stay connected with family, friends and the community.
Make time for being healthy and active.
Connect with one of the many support services available.
If you are feeling emotions of stress, anxiety or depression there are numerous free support services available however it can be overwhelming to know where to turn and what steps to take. Mallee Family Care can connect you with the most suitable support for your circumstances phone (03) 50212 885.
The Mildura Rural City Council is working together with the community to understand needs and priorities with recovery. If you have any inquiries or input regarding storm recovery you can contact Kerryne McClelland, Community Recovery Executive Officer on (03) 5018 8614.
Disaster recovery toolkit for business, CPA Australia
How to resolve a dispute, Financial Ombudsman Service Australia