Bunyip State Park bushfires - recovery information
About this page
If you have been impacted by the Bunyip Complex bushfires, this web page offers information to help in your recovery.
Please drop into the recovery centre at Tonimbuk Hall for additional support and advice.
Newsletter - read and subscribe
Council's bushfire recovery newsletter
This newsletter is a summary of the information on this web page, and is around 18 pages long. It is updated regularly.
Printed copies of the newsletter: Copies are available at the recovery centre. To request more copies, ask the Council staff member on duty (anytime from Monday to Friday between 10am and 3pm).
Subscribe to the newsletter by email
If you would like to us to send you an email linking to the newsletter each time it is updated, please enter your email adress below.
VicEmergency recovery update newsletter
Volunteers working from the recovery centre have established a Facebook group for people affected by the Bunyip State Park fires, and for volunteers assisting with the recovery.
The group is for people to share recovery information and give and receive support.
To find the group, search for the name 'Bushfire Recovery Group - Tonimbuk Hall' and request to join.
The Victorian Government’s clean up program
The Victorian Government has now released information about its clean up program.
Register your interest
To register interest in participating in the clean-up program as described below (whether you are insured or not insured): Call the clean-up hotline on 1300 199 048, Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm.
For uninsured property owners
If you have no insurance for your property, the Victorian vernment has engaged Grocon to undertake clean-up activities, and will fund 75% of these clean-up costs. To register for the clean-up program, please contact 1300 199 048 by Friday 10 May 2019.
Grocon will then contact you to arrange a site assessment, and provide you with estimated costs. You can then decide whether you'd like to take part in the clean-up program.
For insured property owners
It is likely you have already been working with your insurer to arrange clean-up needs. If you have not been in touch with your insurer, we recommend you contact them in the first instance to discuss clean-up arrangements that may already be underway.
If you have insurance for your property, even if it does not cover the full cost of clean-up, the Victorian Government will fund up to 50% of the cost of clean-up (capped at $12,500) undertaken by your insurer or an appropriately qualified contractor.
Register for reimbursement of costs by Friday 10 May
To get reimbursed for these costs, you will need to provide the following supporting documentation from your insurer or clean-up contractor:
- Before and after photos of the clean-up area(s)
- Confirmation that clean-up has been completed in accordance with local and State laws, (e.g. 27A(2) of the Environment Protection Act 1970 (EP Act) and Section 29A of the Building Act 1993)
- Statement of the total clean-up cost
- Estimate of the proportion of the clean-up cost that can be attributed to the residential footprint.
To register for reimbursement: Contact 1300 199 048 by Friday 10 May 2019. EMV will then contact you with further information.
Community recovery centre - Tonimbuk Hall
The bushfire community recovery centre is now located at Tonimbuk Hall. Council is partnering with Lions Club, Rotary and St Vincent de Paul to coordinate the recovery centre's operations.
1900 Gembrook-Tonimbuk Road, Tonimbuk (view location in Google Maps)
- The centre provides a contact point for the community and information about recovery services.
- The bushfire recovery centre at Bunyip Recreation Reserve is no longer open.
Regular opening hours for recovery centre
- Council staff will be at the hall from 10am to 3pm on weekdays.
- Volunteers from local community groups will be at the centre from 9am to 5pm, 7 days a week for anyone who would like to drop in for a cuppa and a chat.
Easter opening hours and lunch
- The recovery centre at Tonimbuk Hall will be closed on Good Friday (19 April) and Easter Sunday (21 April). If you have any urgent issues on these days, contact Shirley on 0411 231 650.
- A small number of volunteers will be at the centre on Easter Saturday and Easter Monday between 9am and 5pm. The volunteers are putting on lunch on Easter Monday from 12 noon at Tonimbuk Hall for anyone from the fire-affected community who would like to come along.
- Council staff will return to the recovery centre after the Easter break on Tuesday 23 April, 10am.
- A detailed impact assessment of the fire zone started on Monday 8 April.
- These assessments are being carried out by Fire Risk Consultants, a company contracted by Council to undertake the assessments.
- Assessors will be in uniform so residents can identify them, and will be accompanied by staff from Red Cross.
- Impact assessments are a legislative requirement of local government, and are important for establishing what is needed for the community's recovery.
Contact your insurer as soon as you can
The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has declared a catastrophe for properties damaged or destroyed in the Bunyip State Park bushfires. Property owners affected by the bushfires should contact their insurers as soon as possible to lodge claims and seek assistance under their policies. The declaration means claims from affected policyholders will be given priority by insurers.
If your property has been damaged in the bushfires, the ICA advises you to contact your insurer as soon as possible for information on the claims process and what you are entitled to under your policy. ICA staff have been mobilised to work directly with local services and affected policyholders.
If you are unsure about your insurance details or have general inquiries about the claims process, contact the ICA's disaster hotline on 1800 734 621
More info: Visit the Understand Insurance website
Free information session on coping with trauma - Wednesday 1 May
Anyone affected by the bushfires is invited to come to a free information session on coping with trauma on Wednesday 1 May at 7pm the recovery centre at Tonimbuk Hall.
The session will be delivered by trauma expert and psychologist, Dr Rob Gordon. No need to book, just turn up.
Emergency re-establishment assistance grants
If you live in the local government areas of Baw Baw, Cardinia Shire, Latrobe, South Gippsland and Wellington and your primary place of residence has been affected by the bushfires, you may be eligible for an emergency re-establishment assistance grant of up to $40,700 per eligible household.
Grants are available for:
- eligible clean-up
- emergency accommodation
- rebuilding (a principal place of residence)
- replacing some damaged contents.
Assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).
To enquire about assistance: Call Windermere on 1800 560 760
Bushfire Recovery Support Program (Windermere)
This program is available to anyone who has experienced any of the following as a result of the bushfires:
- Loss of your home
- Significant mental trauma
- Physical trauma
- A loss of livelihood due to business loss.
If the above does not describe your situation, case managers and workers will consider each case on its merits. This program is available until at least March 2020.
Recovery support case workers will work with you to help you navigate the various support services that may be available to you. Support may include:
- an initial brief chat about your needs and what next steps might be appropriate.
- information on how to access local services for additional support.
- advocacy for priority access if required for your circumstances.
- assistance with completing applications and paperwork required for grant or financial claim processes with other organisations and government.
- outreach visits by our staff with other services if this is helpful to your situation.
The service may be able to provide you with a small amount of brokerage support to respond to immediate financial need. Case support staff may also be able to direct you to more comprehensive grants and financial support.
This program is delivered by Windermere and jointly funded by the Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements and the Victorian Government.
- Speak to a Windermere representative at the recovery centre on Tuesday or Thursday between 10am and 1pm.
- Call Windermere on 1800 560 760 between 9am to 5pm weekdays or leave a message and staff will return your call the following business day.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Farm household allowance: A payment for farming families in financial hardship. For information call the Farmers Assistance Hotline on 132 316 (Mon to Fri, 8am to 8pm). For more info read the Agriculture Victoria Gippsland bushfires support programs fact sheet
- Centrelink: 132 850
- Insurance Council of Australia: Claims from affected policy holders will be given priority. More info: Insurance information
- Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS): Free financial counselling to farmers and small related businesses who are in, or at risk of financial hardship. Call 1300 045 747 or visit the Rural Financial Counselling website
- State Trustees: 1300 138 672
- Superannuation (early access on compassionate grounds): 1300 131 060
- Victorian Disaster Legal Aid: 1800 677 402
- Consumer Affairs Victoria: The Consumer Affairs Victoria website has information and advice about your rights and obligations following an emergency, including on renting and rebuilding (with advice about travelling con men), Insurance, banking and financial hardship, fundraising scams and price rip-offs.
- Australian Passport Information Service: You may be eligible for a free replacement passport if it has been lost or damaged in the bushfire. Call 131 232 or visit the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website for more information.
- Telstra: 132 203 Register for an assistance package. For more information go to the Telstra website
Red Cross volunteers at the recovery centre
Emergency service volunteers from Red Cross are at the recovery centre from 10am to 3pm, Monday to Friday to offer support.
Looking after your mental health
You are going through a very stressful life event. Look out for others and if you need help, please ask for help.
Who to call for immediate assistance
- Lifeline: 13 11 44
- Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800
You can also:
- Talk to a Red Cross representative: At the recovery centre from 10am to 3pm, Monday to Friday.
- Talk to a Windermere representative: At the recovery centre on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11am to 1pm, or call Windermere on 1800 560 760 between 9am to 5pm weekdays or leave a message and staff will return your call the following business day. You can also email email@example.com
- Drop into the recovery centre for general support and information.
Go to the Better Health website for more information on trauma reaction and recovery.
School holiday activities for April and free fitness passes
Free fitness passes (Active April)
Premiers Active April is free and gives you 10 free family visits to Cardinia Leisure Centre (4-6 Olympic Way, Pakenham ) and other participating centres during the month of April.
Register at Cardinia Life to get a 10-visit free entry pass that gives you access to Cardinia Life’s Health Club, aquatic areas, and group fitness classes for visitors 16 years and over.
For children between 3 and 15 years, the pass allows access to the pool only. Offer valid for all of April. To view the group fitness timetable, to register or for more information visit the Cardinia Leisure website, call 5945 2888 or drop into the centre.
School holiday activities
For information on school holiday programs and activities in Cardinia Shire over Ester, go to the holiday activities web page
Lions Clubs' event - Saturday 27 April
The Lions Clubs are hosting a free social event for the fire-affected community:
When: Saturday 27 April 2019, from 5.30pm
Where: Mill Valley Ranch, 525 Tynong North Road, Tynong North
All impacted residents, volunteers and emergency services staff are invited to come along.
- Includes an Easter egg hunt for the kids (at 5.30pm) and a spit roast meal (being served from 6.30pm).
- Bring your picnic rugs and chairs. The event will move indoors if the weather turns bad.
- This is an alcohol-free event – water and soft drinks provided
No RSVP needed – just turn up!
Help with fixing or replacing fencing
BlazeAid is offering assistance to fix or replace fencing in areas affected by the Bunyip State Park bushfires.
Farmers: BlazeAid advises farmers to register, even if you do not need volunteer assistance as they may be able to offer financial assistance.
To register: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact John Anderson on 0412 382 184 or Sue Anderson on 0407 834 443.
To volunteer/assist: Email email@example.com or contact John or Sue on the numbers above.
Financial donations can also be made to BlazeAid’s Post and Wire et al Program fund
To other organisations helping with fencing: BlazeAid have a list of properties needing fencing work done. All work done by other organisations is greatly appreciated, however BlazeAid ask that you contact them if your organisation is going to take care of fencing for a property so BlazeAid can remove the property from their list.
More info: BlazeAid website
Assistance from DELWP
Repair or make good damage to land or assets caused by firefighting operations: This includes repairs to fences cut or damaged by fire crews (CFA or FFMVic) or rehabilitation of dozer and grader control lines.
Repair bushfire damaged fences on the boundary of the Bunyip State Park: DELWP will meet 50% of the materials cost to replace or repair fences located between the Bunyip State Park and private land.
Other bushfire damaged property boundary and internal fences are not covered by this assistance.
If you believe you are eligible, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and provide these details:
- your name and address
- type of impact – boundary fence damage, dozer or grader lines, cut fences or other impacts
- contact details – phone number (and best time to call) and email address
If you do not have email address: call DELWP on 136 186.
Assistance from Melbourne Water
If your land adjoins Melbourne Water land and your fence has been damaged or destroyed by the fires, Melbourne Water may be able to reimburse half the cost of building an approved boundary fence.
Eligibility and fence types
To apply for half-share fencing you must meet the criteria for proposed fencing materials and dimensions. If your property borders Crown land you will not be eligible for half-share fencing.
Melbourne Water will pay for the following types of fences:
- standard paling fences 1.6 or 1.9 metres high
- farm fencing – rural areas only or where appropriate
- chain mesh fencing – where appropriate
Note: the owner is responsible for the maintenance of fences.
Melbourne Water will not contribute to the cost of:
- colorbond fencing
- retaining walls
- vegetation removal.
Documents required for application
To apply for half cost fencing, you must provide:
- a sketch plan with fence location, dimensions and length
- minimum of two quotes from fencing contractors (we do not build fences)
- photos confirming the condition of the existing fence
- photos confirming the removal of vegetation alongside the fence
If Melbourne Water approve your application, the confirmation letter will specify the approved quote and contractor (usually the lowest quote supplied).
Please do not proceed with fencing works until you receive a confirmation letter from Melbourne Water.
To apply you can download the form below and post or email it to Melbourne Water, or apply on the Melbourne Water website
This form is also available at the recovery centre.
Enquiries: Call Melbourne Water on 131 722.
Rinse and refill
If the water in your tank is contaminated, we recommend that you get the tank rinsed and refilled. For assistance with rinsing and refilling, contact Council on 1300 787 624
Preventing re-contamination of your water tank
Some people are finding that after an initial fill or top-up, their rooftop is being re-contaminated by ash as the wind blows ash from trees.
Where rooftops are covered in ash or dust, you should disconnect the water tank from the rooftop and gutters until they have had a good flush, either by rain or with a hose. Only reconnect the tank to the catchment area after the roof area has been clear of ash and debris.
First flush diverters and filters
All property owners with a private water tank filled from their rooftop for drinking water should consider installing a first flush diverter and a filter in accordance with manufacturer’s guidelines.
A first flush diverter diverts that first bit of rain away from the water tank, so the roof and the gutters gets a bit of a rinse before it starts filling up the tank. Water filters are very effective at further reducing contaminants. Neither are very expensive, but should be fitted by a plumber.
Trees by roadsides
All trees along Council roads that were affected by the buushfires were first assessed by Forest Fire Management Victoria, and then by Council. The trees posing an imminent risk were either cut or knocked down.
Our contractors are currently cleaning up the fallen and burnt trees, starting with collector roads such as Tonimbuk Rd and Garfield North Road. We will then move on to work on the local roadsides. During this clean up, if we find other hazardous trees we will take action to mitigate the risk. This process is expected to finish around mid-May.
Assistance from South East Water
- South East Water is providing waivers and discounts on water bills for households impacted by the Bunyip bushfires. Each customer is assessed on a case-by-case basis.
- South East Water has reached out to customers who we believe have been impacted, urging them to contact us so that we can discuss the support options available to them.
- A discount applies where a customer has used a large amount of water to keep their property safe from the bushfires. In the sad event that a customer has lost their home, a full waiver will be given.
Enquiries: Call South East Water on 131 851 Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Waterway assistance from Melbourne Water
Melbourne Water is now assessing the impact of the Bunyip State Park bushfires on their waterways. As part of this process they are contacting their existing Stream Frontage Management Program (SFMP) and Rural Land Program (RLP) customers to get a better understanding of the damage and effect on the waterways from the bushfires.
Following the assessment, Melbourne Water will prioritise the assistance needed.
Assistance is available to:
- repair and replace stream frontage fencing
- install coir logs to assist with sediment/erosion control to protect the health of the waterways.
Melbourne Water are contacting existing SFMP and RLP customers from Monday 25 March but if you haven’t heard from them please contact 131 722
At this stage, Melbourne Water will only be assisting its existing SFMP customers. To see if you are eligible call 131 722.
Removal of vegetation (trees and shrubs) on your property
Council is assessing some hazardous trees on private property
You can appoint an arborist yourself, or you can request to have a Council-appointed arborist assess any burnt trees that you believe are a danger to life or property, in that they stop you being able to do essential things such as access your house or driveway.
A tree IS considered a danger to life or property and will be assessed by Council if:
- the tree or its limbs are at risk of falling on a house, falling on a road or driveway, or falling on a shed or outbuilding that is close to a house.
The following trees will not be assessed by Council and are the responsibility of the property owner:
- Trees along a fence line that does not run alongside a road or driveway.
- Trees that are some distance from the house or other buildings (such as in a paddock).
To let Council know about trees that fit the assessment criteria, you can:
- speak to a Council staff member at the recovery centre
- call us on 1300 787 624
- email email@example.com
If the Council-appointed arborist confirms that a tree is a danger to life or property, a second Council-appointed arborist will be sent in to make the tree safe. Please note that this may not necessarily mean cutting the tree down – a tree might be made safe by removing branches.
If you are physically unable to remove the branches that have been cut by the arborist from your property yourself, you can request help by calling Council on 1300 787 624 or dropping into the recovery centre to speak to a Council staff member from Monday to Friday, 10am to 3pm.
When you can remove hazardous trees without a planning permit
In accordance with state government legislation, if your property was impacted by the bushfires and you have burnt trees around your house that you believe could:
- cause injury
- damage property
you do not need a planning permit to make them safe. (This does not necessarily mean cutting them down altogether). For more information: Removing vegetation after the Bunyip State Park bushfires
When you can remove other vegetation without a planning permit
In some circumstances you can remove vegetation without a planning permit, regardless of whether it presents an immediate risk. More info: Removing other vegetation
Bin services have returned to normal in the fire-affected areas. Please put your bins out on your normal collection day.
Potential hazards on your property
If asbestos-containing materials have been burnt on your property or you are uncertain, we STRONGLY advise that you organise for a licensed asbestos removalist to do the clean-up work. There have been reports of exposed asbestos in damaged properties. Asbestos can cause cancer and chronic respiratory diseases after any asbestos fibres are inhaled or ingested. There is no safe level for asbestos. For more information go to the health.vic website
Buildings with structural damage may be unstable. Properties with damage must be avoided until assessed by Council - please contact us on 1300 787 624
- Ash: Ash particles may still be present in your home, even after the smoke has gone. Avoid stirring up ash and dust as much as possible. More info: EPA website
- Copper Chrome Arsenate (or CCA) from ash: Ash from timber treated with a preservative call Copper Chrome Arsenate (or CCA) contains arsenic which is hazardous if swallowed by young children, pets or grazing animals. More info: health.vic website
- Fire retardant: Fire fighting efforts may have resulted in flame retardant and other slippery materials in and around your property. Tread carefully and be mindful of the ground conditions. More info: EPA website
- Firewater run-off: During a fire, large volumes of water, either on its own or mixed with foams or fire retardants, can be used to put the fire out. Often, this firewater can find its way to local waterways and impact the water quality. View the fact sheet on the EPA website
- Septic tank: If you have a septic tank, remember it may have been weakened in the fire so do not drive or walk over it.
- LPG gas cylinders
- garden chemicals
- farm chemicals
- other general chemicals (for example, cleaning products)
- metal and other residues from burnt household appliances
More info on bushfire aftermath safety tips: Better Health Channel website
Hard waste collection
Council’s shire-wide hard and green waste collection is coming up soon. The collection week for the fire-affected area is the week starting Monday 20 May. For more info go to our hard waste collection web page.
If you feel you need another collection in addition to this one, please call us on 1300 787 624 to register. Another collection will be organised if there is enough demand.
Skip bins for scrap metal
Skip bins for scrap metal
Bins to dispose of:
- burned fencing wire
- small pieces of tin ONLY
have been organised by the Lions Club and are available at these locations:
- Tonimbuk Hall (the recovery centre location)
- 470 Ellis Road, Tonimbuk
- 1280 Gembrook-Tonimbuk Rd
- 295 Sanders Road, Tonimbuk
- 65 Garfield North Road, Garfield North.
Landfill levy waived for bushfire waste at landfill facilities
Residents from fire-affected areas who take bushfire waste directly to landfill sites will not have to pay the Victorian Government's landfill levy.
The waiver covers bushfire waste only, and applies to the levy component of the gate price. The landfill levy is currently $64.30 per tonne of material deposited from metro premises and $31.71 per tonne of material deposited from rural premises.
Call ahead before you take your waste
You should call the landfill facility before attending to notify them of the type of material you plan to bring, and to confirm you are only bringing acceptable items.
Local landfill facilities
Cleanaway Pakenham Resource Recovery Centre
14 Drovers Pl, Pakenham VIC 3810
Phone: 03 5941 5056
Cleanaway Lysterfield Transfer Station
840 Wellington Road, Lysterfield, VIC, 3156
Phone: 03 9753 5411
Suez Hampton Park Resource Recovery Park
274 Hallam Rd, Hampton Park VIC 3976
Phone: 13 13 35
Cleanaway Pakenham is offering a 25% discount to bushfire-affected households in Cardinia Shire, in addition to the landfill levy discount.
Both amounts will be calculated at the gate and taken off the total amount before you pay.
- Burnt material, including green waste, will be accepted
- Material that is still hot or smoking/smouldering must not be handled and will not be accepted.
Bring your ID: You will need to provide identification to show that you live in the fire-affected area.
Demolition of fire-damaged buildings
- If you have been issued with an order from Council to demolish, you do not need a permit to do this.
- If your clean-up contractor advises that a structure needs to be demolished, please contact Council on 1300 787 624 and we will process this quickly for you.
Rebuilding after the fires
Council will not charge planning permit application or advertising fees to rebuild structures destroyed by the fires, although you will still need to lodge an application and provide the required documentation.
The Victorian Government introduced an exemption in planning schemes for people affected by the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009, exempting them from needing a planning permit to rebuild. At this stage, we have not been advised by the Victorian Government if a similar exemption will be granted for property owners impacted by the Bunyip State Park bushfires. We will update this information once we receive advice from the Victorian Government.
Power reconnection: Contact your electricity distribution company.
More info: Energy safety page on the DELWP website
Coping without gas or electricity: Info on the Better Health Channel website
For connection issues contact:
Phone and internet services
Call your phone provider for reconnection
If you have an issue with your home phone or internet service, call your phone provider to report a fault and get your phone calls redirected to another number (such as a mobile phone number).
Testra is providing assistance to customers affected by the Bunyip State Park bushfires. For more information go to the Telstra website
To register for an assistance package with Telstra: Call 132 203 (then enter your full home phone number including area code when prompted).
Free use of Telstra public payphones: In Yinnar, Boolarra, Churchill, Gembrook, Bunyip, Garfield, Nar Nar Goon North, Maryknoll, Dargo, Licola.
Replacement of water used for firefighting
Property owners who have had water taken from dams or other private water supplies by DELWP or CFA firefighters can apply to the DELWP to have the water replaced. Information on essential water replacement can be found via Forest Fire Management Victoria website
Essential water replacement requests must be submitted within 3 months of the essential water being taken for bushfire fighting operations.
To request essential water replacement, download and complete the Essential Water Replacement form (below) then email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Farm recovery after bushfire
Agriculture Victoria staff are working with affected landholders to assess injured livestock and losses of agricultural assets and livestock.
- If you have injured livestock or need support with animal welfare assessments: Call 1800 226 226
- For information on bushfire recovery: Call 136 186 or visit www.agriculture.vic.gov.au/animalemergencies
- To report wandering livestock: Call us on 1300 787 624
Water for stock
If you need assistance or information about water for stock please contact us on 1300 787 624
Fodder and transport for livestock - 'Need For Feed'
Need For Feed disaster relief will be distributing fodder from a depot over the weekend to landowners affected by the bushfires.
- Bushfire-affected residents: Please register using the Request for assistance form on the Need for Feed website
- To donate fodder: Please complete the donation form on the Need for Feed website
- To offer transport: Complete the Volunteer hay run form on the Need for Feed website
Need For Feed is a Lions Club project.
- Report deceased livestock: To Agriculture Victoria on 1800 226 226 - they will provide advice on disposal.
- Transport deceased livestock: Deceased livestock can be taken to the Suez landfill at 274 Hallam Road, Hampton Park). Please call 0428 620 417 to arrange a drop-off time.
- Burying deceased livestock: If you bury livestock please follow these EPA guidelines
For information on farm recovery and on the following topics go to the Agriculture Victoria website
- Assessing cattle after a bushfire
- Assessing sheep after a bushfire
- Horses affected by bushfire
- Disposing of carcasses
- Stock containment areas
- Pasture recovery after fire
- Agisting livestock affected by a bushfire
- Water and pasture after bushfire
- Livestock after an emergency
- Building a sediment fence
- Weed invasion after emergencies
Farm recovery interviews
After the 2009 bushfires the Port Phillip and Westernport CMA prepared several YouTube bushfire recovery videos that include interviews with land management experts and people impacted by the fires about the steps they took to help their properties and the environment recover.
Help for injured wildlife
DEWLP Wildlife Officers are monitoring a number of fire-affected animals. Please do not try to feed or approach injured animals.
Report injured wildlife: 5960 7100
Rates revaluations and payments
Revaluations of affected properties
- Properties that experienced building losses in the bushfires are being revalued in order to reduce the amount of rates to be paid, and thus provide some relief. Council is doing these supplementary valuations to ensure that the amount of rates being paid reflects the actual current condition of the property, rather than its condition prior to the fires. We assure you that by doing this we are not ‘devaluing the property’, but instead adjusting the valuation to remove values attached to improvements to the land which, unfortunately, are no longer there.
- Affected properties will receive a supplementary valuation and rate notice in the coming weeks. This notice will include the amended valuations, adjusted rates and charges and the new total owing. The next rates instalment notice, to be issued in May, will be adjusted according to the revaluation.
Concerns about your repayments?
- If you have any concerns or questions about your rates payments, please contact Council on 1300 787 624
Land management advice available
Council’s Biodiversity Officer will be at the recovery centre on Monday 29 April, Wednesday 1 May and Thursday 2 May from 9.30am to 11am to answer your enquiries on topics including:
- pasture management
- burnt bush/shelter belts
- stock containment.
Facilities closed due to the bushfires
Bunyip State Park closed
Parks Victoria advises that Bunyip State Park is closed. All roads and tracks within the Bunyip State Park are closed until further notice.
- EmergencyVic advises that heavy machinery and fire trucks are still working in Bunyip State Park. It is unsafe to enter the park. Police are actively patrolling the area.
- DEWLP Wildlife Officers are actively monitoring a number of fire affected animals in Bunyip State Park. Please do not try to feed or approach injured animals. To report injured wildlife call 5960 7100
Mt Cannibal Reserve closed
Mt Cannibal Reserve in Garfield is closed until further notice.
How the environment will recover after these bushfires
Natural regeneration of the land starts to happen within days of a fire. Our landscape has evolved with fire; just how soon and exactly how it recovers depends on a variety of factors including how intense the fire was and whether the soil is disturbed or left alone after the fire.
Donations, volunteering and other offers of help
Donations of goods
While your offers are much appreciated, please do not drop goods to the recovery centre at Tonimbuk Hall.
Help with fixing or replacing fencing
BlazeAid is organsing volunteers to assist farmers in fixing or replacing fencing. For more ifnfo on volunteering or asking for assistance see the information under the Fencing section on this page.
Donate to the Community Relief Fund
Emergency Management Victoria has partnered with Bendigo Bank to establish a community relief fund to support people affected by the bushfires in south east Victoria. Donations can be made at any Bendigo Bank branch or online.
Donate to the Casey Cardinia Foundation bushfire relief fund
A relief fund has been set up by the Casey Cardinia Foundation to support community members affected by the bushfires in and around the Bunyip State Park.
See your doctor, local community health centre or call Nurse on Call on 1300 606 024. Nurse on Call offers expert medical advice from a registered nurse, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the cost of a local call.
- Lifeline: 131 114 24-hour telephone counselling, information and referral service.
- BeyondBlue: 1300 224 636 Provides information on depression and anxiety. To access professional counselling services, please make contact with your GP and ask for a referral.
- Kids Help Line: 1800 551 800 Confidential telephone counselling service for young people aged 5–25 years.
- Headspace: 1800 650 890
- ParentLine: 132 289 Counselling and information for families with children (up to 18 years) from 8am to midnight, 7 days a week.
- Men’s Line Australia: 1300 789 978 24–hour counselling and advice for men.
- Safe Steps Family Violence Support: 1800 015 188
- Family Violence support: There is an increased risk of family violence after an emergency. Help is available by calling 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732 - confidential) or go to the Family Violence Victoria website