Deputy Premier and Minister for Emergency Services Peter Ryan said emergency service agencies were working around the clock to protect Gippsland from rising flood waters, after the region was inundated by rainfall.
“The Australian Defence Force has joined local efforts to protect Lakes Entrance which will remain on flood watch for the next 48 hours,” Mr Ryan said.
“Overnight sandbagging of critical infrastructure saved properties from the combined flood waters and high tide this morning but the worst is yet to come.
“Emergency Services are predicting tonight’s 10.30pm flood peak to be as much as 40 centimetres higher, which has the potential to inundate a large number of properties based on 2007 flood data.”
Mr Ryan said floodwaters had caused havoc across much of Gippsland, closing roads and highways, schools and causing power outages.
“Since 7am Sunday VICSES has recorded 1,300 requests for assistance as our emergency service personnel work tirelessly helping those in need,” Mr Ryan said.
Mr Ryan said the Victorian Coalition Government yesterday activated emergency re-establishment payments to help those impacted by flood waters.
"There have so far been 22 payments under the government’s Personal Hardship Assistance Program, which provides relief assistance of up to $480 per adult and $240 per child up to a maximum of $1,200 per household to cover emergency shelter, food, clothing, or personal items,” Mr Ryan said.
“One emergency re-establishment assistance payment has also been made, which provides up to $30,000 to eligible Victorians in extreme hardship, and who meet an income test.
“There is no doubt further help will be needed for those families and households which have been impacted and the Coalition Government stands ready to provide additional hardship grants as and where appropriate.
“In addition, the process for clean-up and recovery assistance will be triggered once the floodwaters begin to recede,” Mr Ryan said.
Current Emergency Information is available by phoning SES on 1300 842 737. For the latest list of road closures visit www.vicroads.vic.gov.au or call 13 11 70.
Information about the Victorian Coalition Government’s emergency assistance grants is available at www.dhs.vic.gov.au/emergency.
For information of flood recovery visit: www.floodrecovery.vic.gov.au.
Media contact: Sonia Heath 0413 485 526