2021 storms – information for residents and businesses

This page has information on support services and upcoming events for those impacted by the 2021 storms.

If you have any recovery-related questions, our Recovery team is available by phone or email from Monday to Friday during business hours.
Ph: 1300 787 624
Email: recovery@cardinia.vic.gov.au

  • Community Recovery Team Leader – Bronwyn Fleming
  • Recovery Officer- Katt Scott
  • Economic Recovery Officer - Susie Wickes 

We email up-to-date information on storm recovery support services, events and projects.

Read our final monthly newsletter here

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Storm recovery morning tea

Come along to a delicious morning tea with Cardinia Shire Council’s Community Recovery Team! 

Connect with other members of the community recovering from the storms in 2021 and chat to our Recovery Officers on how we can help you with your recovery.  

Event details 

  • Date: Monday 19 June
  • Time: 10am – 12:30pm 
  • Location: Hills Hub (402 Belgrave-Gembrook Rd, Emerald VIC 3782) 

Please RSVP by Friday 11 June by emailing recovery@cardinia.vic.gov.au 

As part of our long-term recovery program Council has expanded our existing Youth and Family Outreach program with Taskforce Community Agency to provide additional support in areas affected by natural disasters.

The program provides young people and their families who have been impacted by the Bunyip Complex Fire or the Storms in 2021 access to information, support, referral to specialist support and case management.

The Youth and Family Outreach program will also deliver additional youth events to support young people to stay connected and engaged. The Youth and Family Outreach program will be available to middle of 2023.

For more information on the program or to access support please contact Taskforce on 9532 0811 or email enquiries@taskforce.org.au  

With funding from the State Government, Cardinia Shire Council with Yarra Ranges Council are able to extend their partnership with volunteer organisation Habitat For Humanity and Treasuring our Trees to support storm-impacted residents who face additional barriers to undertaking their own property clean up including disability, health, unemployment or financial constraints.

How do I access property clean up support?

You can request property clean up support through Cardinia Shire Council Recovery Team by emailing recovery@cardinia.vic.gov.au

Want to help?

If you know someone who’d like to volunteer for Habitat For Humanity and help with these clean-ups please contact the Volunteer Supervisor Felicity Smith at fsmith@habitat.org.au or visit the Habitat for Humanity website to register interest.

Are you having trouble navigating how to rebuild your property that was impacted by the 2021 storms? 

To learn more about the planning and rebuilding process ahead and how council workers across both Cardinia Shire and Yarra Ranges Shire can support you along the way, please email Kat Scott at recovery@cardinia.vic.gov.au 

If your home has been significantly damaged and requires rebuilding you’ll need a planning permit and a building permit

Planning permits relating to storm damage will be prioritised and planning fees associated with storm-affected rebuilds may be waived.

Properties with environmental or vegetation overlays may require additional information and considerations in the planning application process. Getting the right advice will ensure your planned build is appropriately constructed to reduce risk of damage, such as in bushfire-prone areas.

Repairing a small part of your dwelling or shed ‘like for like’

You won’t need a planning permit, but you might still need a building permit - please contact a private building surveyor for advice (Council does not issue building permits)

To understand your responsibility and that of your neighbours in regards to rebuilding and repairing boundary fences, visit the Victorian Government’s Justice and Community Safety website

If you need to obtain your neighbour’s details for fencing matters visit our property ownership details webpage  

If your fence shares a boundary with Council land, we may pay half the cost of fence replacement

More information: email mail@cardinia.vic.gov.au – please include your name, property address and details of damage.

Call 1800 560 760

  • The Storm and Flood Recovery Hotline is a single state-wide number that Victorians impacted by the June 2021 storms and floods can call for help or assistance.
  • Operators can assist you with registering for Clean-Up of structures on private property or accessing your own Recovery Support Worker, mental health and wellbeing support, financial counselling and information on available payments.
  • The Recovery Hotline is open from 8am to 7pm Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays) and 9am to 1pm on weekends.

The Storm and Flood Financial Counselling Program is open to Victorians affected by the 2021 storms.

  • 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): Provide mental health support to young people, family and friends
  • 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): a 24-hour national sexual assault, family and domestic violence counselling
  • 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

Hardship support from Council

  • If you’re unable to live in your home or it’s significantly damaged, you can request for the property’s value to be reassessed and amended as necessary. This may reduce the total rates and Fire Service Property Levy amount payable
  • If your house has been deemed uninhabitable, you can request for waste service charges to be waived
  • If you’ve been impacted by the storm, you can request a payment arrangement or short-term deferral. Where severe impact has been confirmed, you can apply for financial hardship assistance
  • Properties meeting the above criteria may also be exempt from paying interest and from debt recovery action

More information: email mail@cardinia.vic.gov.au – please include your name, property address and details of damage.

Financial counselling with South East Community Links

South East Community Links offers one on one financial counselling sessions over the phone. Telephone appointments are available Monday to Friday during business hours. 

Financial counsellors can assist you to:

  • access legal advice or other services 
  • advocate and negotiate to reduce/defer/waive payments with creditors
  • access grants or concessions
  • respond to factors contributing to your financial distress 
  • develop a money plan 
  • identify options and make informed decisions
  • understand your rights under the National Credit Code to apply for a hardship variation
  • understand the credit reporting system 
  • understand the impact of bankruptcy

To make an appointment contact South East Community Links on 9549 5288 or visit the South East Community Links website for more information.  

Utility bill assistance

Other financial assistance

A number of local agencies offer food, material aid and community meals.
More information: Food relief programs page

If your business has been impacted by the 2021 storms, you can contact our Economic Recovery Officer Susie Wickes with your enquiries.

Email: recovery@cardinia.vic.gov.au

Mental Health for Small Businesses 

Partners in Wellbeing offers free and confidential mental health support as well as financial planning advice and business advisory services to small businesses across Victoria. 

Working in the Cardinia Shire as part of this program is Christabel.

Chrissie has vast experience in mental health and counselling support. She has experience as a small business owner, has first-hand experience of many of the challenges unique to owning a small business. 

More information: contact Chrissie via email Christabel.Sibanda@each.com.au or call 0459 465 011 

The Small Business Mentoring Service

For free online mentoring is now available Australia wide, visit the Small Business Mentoring website

Eastern Dandenong Ranges Association

For more business support and information visit Eastern Dandenong Ranges Association website

Agriculture Victoria

Agriculture Victoria’s Ag Recovery team is supporting growers in the horticulture industry who were affected by the June storms and floods across Victoria.

Phone 0427 694 185 or email recovery@agriculture.vic.gov.au

Tax support webinars for small businesses 

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has a series of free webinars available that cover both general and industry-specific areas of tax obligations for small businesses.

To view the list of topics or register for a webinar visit the Australian Tax Office website

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