Thursday, 1 June 2023

Questions without notice and ministers statements

Ministers statements: flood recovery initiatives

Ministers statements: flood recovery initiatives

Jaclyn SYMES (Northern Victoria – Attorney-General, Minister for Emergency Services) (12:14): I would like to update the house on the government’s ongoing support for Victorian communities that have been impacted by floods. We are now eight months since the devastating floods caused havoc across parts of Victoria. Everyone in the chamber knows it sadly involved the death of two people, destroyed thousands of homes and caused widespread damage to infrastructure, farms and public land. The 2023–24 budget invests $677 million in ongoing flood recovery, which builds on the initial $1.8 billion that was committed to that event. The funding is helping to continue the residential flood clean-up program, support recovery officers, emergency accommodation support, clean-up of public land and mental health support for communities.

We know that recovery does not happen overnight; it does take time. It is why we will continue to work with the communities to understand what they need. Yesterday I was pleased to meet with representatives of the Murray River Group of Councils to hear how they are dealing with this issue. We know that recovery from disasters must also be culturally appropriate, and we recognise the special contribution of Aboriginal communities in leading the recovery.

I know that many people are still trying to get back on their feet and back into their own homes, and it cannot happen soon enough. Since the beginning of the floods, we have supported over 2000 people to find accommodation, and there are 285 people that we are currently housing in our emergency accommodation program. Last month we launched the Homes at Home pilot. It is a $4.6 million program delivering temporary units to properties in Greater Shepparton, which allows flood-affected home owners who want to remain on their land to do so while they carry out essential repairs to their damaged homes.

I know that as we head into winter it is going to be really tough and I know people are tired, but we would like to acknowledge the incredible work of those who have pulled together and helped one another and those that continue to do so. The government is certainly grateful for that, and we want to continue to support them with this latest package.