Business and Residential Support

There are number of services, grants and programs available to help residents and businesses impacted by riverine flood waters.

Flood Recovery Hotline

Call the Flood Recovery Hotline on 1800 560 760 for help with:

  • a range of clean-up services
  • finding somewhere to stay
  • financial, mental health and other support

The recovery hotline is open every day. Press 9 for an interpreter.

Emergency relief payment

These one-off payments are available to help people with immediate and essential needs during natural disaster-related emergencies, like emergency shelter, food, clothing or personal items.

In most cases, the payment is NOT available for:

  • damage caused by construction or building works
  • business losses
  • motor vehicle repairs or towing
  • compensation for the loss of income
  • paying insurance excess
  • loss resulting from power outages

Emergency relief assistance is based on a fixed amount for each member of your household (adults and children). There is a maximum amount for each household.

Only one application should be made per household, however:

  • if more than one family is living within the same house, each family should apply separately for payment.
  • if you live in shared or communal housing, each adult should apply separately.

This assistance will be paid after the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH) has checked your eligibility. Once approved, the payment will reach your bank account in three to five business days.

Call 1800 226 226 for more information.

Financial Counselling

Mallee Family CareFree locally-based financial counselling service, offering confidential advice, information, support and advocacy for people experiencing financial difficulty, including those in immediate crisis as a result of the flood event.
Appointments with financial counsellors can be made by calling (03) 5023 5966 or emailing mfc@malleefamilycare.com.au.

Support is available in Mildura and the wider Mallee region, including providing short and long-term solutions, determining ongoing needs and referrals to other support services.

Financial Counselling Victoria: In person or phone-based support for sole traders, business partners, personal and family finances and dealing with financial hardship and debt. Visit https://fcvic.org.au/find-a-financial-counsellor/ to find your nearest service.

Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS) Victoria West: Help for farmers and regional small business in Western Victoria. Visit https://RFCSVictoriaWest.com.au or call 1300 735 578.

National Debt Helpline: For immediate assistance and/or to be connected to your nearest service contact 1800 007 007.

Business Relief Service

Free service one-on-one support from a local business relief adviser available via telephone and on the ground to:

  • guide business owners through the available Commonwealth, state and local supports
  • help businesses assess impacts, manage insurance, landlord issues
  • form strategies for recovery

The Business Relief Service can be accessed via submitting an online form on the Business Victoria website business.vic.gov.au or contacting the Business Victoria hotline on 132 215. The hotline operates seven days a week from 7.30am to 7.30pm.

Small Business Immediate Flood Relief Grant

One-off $5,000 payment that can be used to cover expenses arising from damage caused from flooding to a place of business, business assets, stock or equipment, such as:

  • qualified tradespeople to conduct safety inspections, repair premises and internal fittings
  • equipment, materials and services needed for clean-up
  • removal and disposal of debris, damaged materials or damaged stock
  • equipment, stock and materials essential for immediately resuming operations

To be eligible, a business must:

  • hold an active ABN on and from 14 October 2022
  • be registered for GST on and from 14 October 2022
  • have incurred significant direct damage from flooding to the place of business, business assets, stock or equipment
  • not have received support under the Primary Producer Flood Relief Program or the Community Sport Emergency Flood Assistance Program

Visit business.vic.gov.au for Program Guidelines and to apply. Call 132 215 if you have any questions. This program closes on Tuesday 7 February 2023.

Community Sport Emergency Flood Assistance Program

$5,000 one-off grants to assist Victorian sport and active recreation organisations in the replacement of playing, injury prevention and first aid equipment, canteen and clubroom items and maintenance equipment.

Visit https://sport.vic.gov.au/grants-and-funding/our-grants/Community-Sport-Emergency-Flood-Assistance-Program for more information. Program closes 7 February 2023.

Business and Community Sport Flood Recovery Grants

If your business, not-for-profit or community sport and active recreation organisation has been directly affected by the 2022 Victorian floods you may be eligible for financial support.

Businesses and organisations can apply for grants of up to $50,000. Businesses can also access dedicated Business Relief Advisers to guide you through available supports and strategies for recovery.

To apply for the Flood Recovery Grant, you need to first successfully apply for the $5000 one-off grant from either the Small Business Immediate Flood Relief Program or the Community Sport Emergency Flood Assistance Program. The $50,000 includes the $5000 already received through these grant programs.

If you wish to apply for the grant of up to $50,000 but have difficulties first applying for the $5000 grant, call the Business Victoria Hotline on 13 22 15 or register online for support from a Business Relief Adviser.

For information or to apply, visit business.vic.gov.au/floodrecovery

This program is jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments through Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

 

Small Business Debt Helpline

National support line staffed by specialist small business financial counsellors – immediate assistance and referral for ongoing support. Call 1800 413 828.

Partners in Wellbeing

Partners in Wellbeing offers a free, confidential, one-on-one support service for small business owners, which can be accessed via the free helpline on 1300 375 330. 

By calling the helpline small business owners and employees will have direct access to support including trained wellbeing coaches, financial counsellors and business advisors. The helpline operates between 9am and 10pm weekdays and between 9am and 5pm weekends.

More information is also available at Small Business support (partnersinwellbeing.org.au)

 

Primary Producer Immediate Flood Relief Program

Primary Producer Clean-Up Relief Grants: $75,000 grants to cover the cost of the clean-up and get businesses up and running again.

Rural Landholder Grants: Up to $25,000 grants to cover the costs of disaster impacts for small-scale producers.

Primary Producer Concessional Loans: Up to $250,000 to restore or replace damaged equipment and infrastructure or cover short-term business expenses.

Primary Producer Transport Subsidies: Up to $15,000 to support the transport of emergency fodder or stock drinking water, and the movement of livestock

See agriculture.vic.gov.au for details. Call 1800 260 425 if you have any questions.

Re-establishment assistance

You can get financial help to return home if:

  • You cannot live in your home because it is damaged or destroyed OR
  • You cannot access your home for more than 7 days because of flooding
  • This is called "re-establishment assistance". It is only available for your principal place of residence.

Re-establishment assistance can help to pay for:

  • Clean-up
  • Emergency accommodation
  • Repairs
  • Rebuilding your home
  • Replacing some damaged contents

Eligibility for this payment depends on your household income. You can only get it if you:

  • Do not have building (home) insurance or contents insurance AND
  • Are experiencing financial hardship

Call the Flood Recovery Hotline on 1800 560 760 to find out if you can get financial help to return home. The hotline can also help you learn about other help available.

Visit https://www.emergency.vic.gov.au/relief/#financial_support for more information

Disaster Recovery Allowance

Up to 13 weeks payment to help eligible individuals losing income as a direct result floods.

Available to eligible individuals that work or live in an affected Local Government Area, lost income as a direct result of the floods, and earn less than the average Australian weekly income in the weeks after this income loss.

Apply through Services Australia https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/

 

Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment

A lump sum payment to help individuals significantly affected by floods. It is not for minor damage or inconvenience. Its purpose is to help with major damage to your property or other assets.

Available to individuals that are in a Local Government Area that has been declared for a disaster.

If you’re eligible you’ll get:

  • $1000 per adult
  • $400 for each child younger than 16

Apply through Services Australia https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/

 

Donations and volunteering

GIVIT: Item requests and donations to those impacted by Victoria’s flooding.
Visit givit.org.au/storms-and-flooding

Australian Red Cross: Donate to on-ground emergency response teams in flood-affected areas.
Visit redcross.org.au/donation/disaster-response-and-recovery/

Disaster Relief Australia: Volunteer organisation providing expert and civilian disaster relief.
Visit disasterreliefaus.org/volunteer/

Community Enterprise Foundation: Donation fund providing support to a range of local charitable groups in flood-affected areas.
Visit communityenterprisefoundation.com.au/disaster-appeals/victorian-flood-appeal/

Victorian Farmers Federation Disaster Relief Fund: Donate to farmers impacted by flooding.
Visit vff.org.au/donations/

Wildlife Victoria October Flood Appeal 2022: Donate directly to Wildlife Victoria’s Emergency Rescue Service.
Visit wildlifevictoria.org.au/actnow

Emerging Minds - Supporting your child after a flood

Tools and resources to help families cope with flood events.

Visit emergingminds.com.au for more information.

Floods Priority Line

Tools and resources are available through Tenants Victoria to help renters concerned about a notice of eviction or other matters related to renting.

The support line is answered by lawyers, advocates and intake workers with specialist knowledge.

Visit tenantsvic.org.au/articles/floods-and-renters/ for more information.

Mallee Family Care Community Legal Centre

Offering free and confidential legal advice and information, referrals and case work.

Support is available in Mildura and the wider Mallee region by calling 1800 243 002 (free call), emailing your details to clc@malleefamilycare.com.au or by visiting Mallee Family Care’s main office at 122 Ninth Street Mildura. 

For more information visit Mallee Family Care - Mallee Family Care Community Legal Centre

 

Disaster Legal Help Victoria

Call the Disaster Legal Help Victoria hotline on 1800 113 432 for free information and advice relating to floods, including:

  • Tenancy
  • Insurance
  • Property damage
  • Parenting arrangements
  • Bail

Disaster Legal Help Victoria can also assist you in finding a lawyer.

Available weekdays 8am-6pm. 

For more information visit www.disasterlegalhelp.org.au/support

 

Utility Relief Grant Scheme

The Dept. of Families, Fairness & Housing (DFFH) Utility Relief Grant Scheme provides relief for paying an overdue utility bill (gas, electricity, water) due to temporary crisis. 

You can apply for the grant if you are an eligible concession card holder (Pensioner, Health Care, VA Gold), or part of a low-income household. The grant is applicable for both renters and homeowners.

You must show that you have no way of paying the account without assistance, and meet one of the following criteria:

  • You or someone in your household is experiencing family violence
  • Recent decrease in income (eg. lost job)
  • High unexpected cost for essential items
  • Cost of shelter is more than 30% of household income

If you are eligible, you can receive a maximum of $650 on each utility type within a 2-year period (or $1300 for households with a single source of energy eg. electricity only). Applications are made directly to utility company/supplier.

For more information visit: services.dffh.vic.gov.au/utility-relief-grant-scheme or call 1800 658 521

Rural Aid - Counselling for farmers and their families

Free of charge, confidential support for farmers, family members and employees.

You can connect over the phone or in person with 4 counsellors available across Victoria.

Detailed breakdown of services is not publicly available. Call 1300 175 594 or visit www.ruralaid.org.au/counsellors for more information.