Friday, June 21, 2024

Weekly payments to brighten Victorian power outage

Federal Minister for Emergency Management, David Littleproud, has today confirmed disaster assistance will be made available to households who continue to be affected by prolonged power outages following extreme weather in Victoria. 

Minister Littleproud (pictured) said assistance would be provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA). 

“A Prolonged Power Outage Support Payment of $1680 per week, for up to three weeks, has been extended to all eligible households without power,” Minister Littleproud said. 

Around 7,000 households remain without electricity, with the worst affected in the Dandenong Ranges expected to be off the grid until July 10.

“The Payment will support families buy necessities, source other forms of fuel/power or find alternative accommodation,” Minister Littleproud said. 

“The Australian Government is working closely with the Victorian Government and stands ready to provide further assistance as required.” 

Acting Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Danny Pearson said the prolonged power outages could last up to three weeks and cause significant hardship to many households. 

“The Australian and Victorian governments are helping communities who continue to be impacted by the aftermath of the severe weather event,” Acting Minister Pearson said. 

“We know that being without essential power is incredibly difficult and we want to help people obtain the support that best suits their circumstances, whether that be to stay at home or seek alternative accommodation. 

“These payment are in addition to the range of supports available that are being delivered through our relief partners locally. We urge those who require additional support such as food or access to showers to contact their local council.”

Eligibility will be determined on a week to week basis. Customers whose power remains out next Thursday 24 June will be entitled to the second week’s payment, and customers whose power remains out at Thursday 1 July will be entitled to the third and final payment. 

The funding package is being administered by AusNet on behalf of the Commonwealth and State governments to provide direct assistance to support residential customers dealing with prolonged power loss.

​Eligibility criteria can be found on AusNet’s Storm Event webpage at www.ausnetservices.com.au/en/About/News-Room/News-Room-2021/Storm-Upda​te AusNet has established a dedicated claims process for customers impacted by the storm, which can be accessed on its website or by calling 13 17 99. 

Information on disaster assistance is available on the Australian Government’s website at www.disasterassist.gov.au, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website at www.delwp.vic.gov.au and the Vic Emergency website www.emergency.vic.gov.au/relief. ​

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