Storm recovery

Our Shire was impacted by extreme weather events in recent years. Storm and flooding events occurred in and around Creswick and Clunes in January and October 2022, and a storm in and around Trentham in June 2021. 

Creswick storm and flood event - January 2022

The 5 January 2022 event resulted in flooding in the Creswick township, storm damage in Creswick surrounds and crop damage in the Dean area.

  • 180 primary residences damaged
  • 45 primary residents severely damaged/uninhabitable
  • 55 residents displaced (as at 24/2/22 - seven weeks after the flood)
  • $25M+ direct cost losses to the agricultural sector
  • $10M+ damage and losses to the business sector.

Trentham storm event

The 9 June 2021 storm event resulted in storm damage primarily across the east and central areas of the shire.

  • 53 residences damaged
  • 5 houses and 9 cabins destroyed - uninhabitable (all primary residences)
  • 39 dwellings impacted but habitable
  • 9 vehicles damaged
  • 153 private properties with fencing damaged
  • 57 dangerous trees at risk of falling on dwelling or access.

June 2021 storm - commemorative book

The Big Storm is a collection of 37 stories from the June 2021 storm centered around Trentham and district. 

Copies are available for loan at Trentham, Daylesford, Creswick and Clunes libraries.

The book was was Highly Commended in the Local Government Category for the 2023 Resilient Australia Awards.

The Big Storm book cover

The book was jointly funded by the Australian and Victorian governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding arrangements and Council.

Community recovery sessions - Dr Rob Gordon

Dr Gordon is a clinical psychologist and a consultant for the Victorian Department of Families, Fairness and Housing, Education and Training, Bushfire Recovery Victoria and Red Cross Emergency Services. For more than 30 years, he has worked with people and communities after traumatic events including the Ash Wednesday (1983), Black Saturday (2009) and Black Summer (2020) bushfires, Cyclones Larry and Yasi, and the 2011 floods in Victoria and Queensland. He conducts a psychotherapy practice in Box Hill Victoria.

Dr Gordon has made many visits to the Shire following the storm event in June 2021 and January 2022 to meet with the community and share his insights into the practical and emotional responses after emergency events.  

Watch his talk in Trentham about recovering from traumatic events.


Recovery information

We understand the significant impact that both storm events have had on our community. We would like to thank residents for supporting each other through these difficult times. We also acknowledge Council staff, Powercor and all Emergency Services for supporting the community.

Personal help and counselling

Face-to-face social work support is available through Central Highlands Rural Health. Please call 5345 9100 for more information.

If you are feeling overwhelmed and finding it difficult to cope, reach out for help from friends and family or contact the services listed below.

If at any time you are worried about your mental health or the mental health of a loved one, call Lifeline 13 11 14 or the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.

Or contact:
  • Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 offers free (even from a mobile) 24/7 support by qualified counsellors for young people aged 5 to 25 – also available via webchat and email.
  • Beyond Blue 1800 512 348 has trained counsellors available to talk to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on Beyond Blue’s phone support line and online chat service.
  • Parentline 13 22 89 is a phone service for parents and carers of 0 to 18 year-old children offering confidential and anonymous counselling and support on parenting issues
  • Your regular GP or health centre
  • Family and friends
  • Better Health Channel
  • If you are in an emergency, or at immediate risk of harm to yourself or others, please contact emergency services on 000.

The way you react to an emergency, including your mental and emotional response, and the time it takes to recover, depends on many things. This includes the amount of support available, other stressors being experienced, or previous traumatic experiences. Recovery will be complex and unique to your own circumstance.

Financial counselling

Financial counselling is a free and confidential service available for anyone affected by an emergency.

A financial counsellor can help you to:

  • access relief for utility bills and other payments
  • understand your government income and other entitlements
  • negotiate with your bank on debt issues
  • identify if your insurance outcome is fair and appropriate
  • provide you with options and can advocate on your behalf.
National Debt Helpline – 1800 007 007

The National Debt Helpline is a telephone financial counselling service open from 9.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.

The financial counsellors at the National Debt Helpline can put you in contact with your local face-to-face financial counselling service. Anyone struggling financially due to an emergency can contact the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 or use the live chat on the website.

Financial support

Cafs (Child and Family Services) Ballarat is a free and confidential support service available to the Central Highlands region community.

The Counselling Team can help you recover from the impacts of the storm. They can help you:

  • Review your options if your insurance company won’t pay your claim
  • Access grants or concessions
  • Provide financial and paralegal options to manage bills and debts
  • Provide general advice on matters relating to financial hardship, and more

You can call Cafs on (03) 5337 3333 or freecall 1800 692 237 or email them at

Tax Office assistance

The Australian Tax Office is able to help those affected by the weather events. If tax and super affairs are contributing to your worries, contact the ATO for practical support options. The ATO can prioritise any refunds owed, set up payment plans to help with your circumstances, and reissue tax documents or records.

Visit the ATO website at or call the ATO Emergency Support Infoline on 1800 806 218 for more information.

It’s important to lodge on time, even if you can’t pay by the due date, so that you have some certainty about your tax and super position. It lets the ATO know you’re aware of your obligations and that you're doing your best to meet them, even in difficult circumstances.

Visit to lodge activity statements and tax returns, pay tax bills and create payment plans.

Insurance recovery process

Once you have lodged an insurance claim, these are the typical stages you can expect your claim to follow.

The timing of each stage will differ depending on the severity and complexity of the claim.

1. Make Safe

Emergency works are conducted to minimise hazards and prevent further damage.

2. Assessing the damage

An insurance assessor (or claims adjuster) will inspect the damage to your property. An engineering inspection may also be required.

3. Scope of Work (or Statement of Work)

The Scope of Work is a written report that sets out the repair/rebuild work to be performed. It’s important to read the report and let your insurer know if changes are required. A Scope of Work can be varied later if further damage is found.

4. Repair

Once the Scope of Work has been agreed, it’s time to repair or replace the damage. If your insurer is managing the repair/rebuild, it will appoint a builder, arrange the contracts and notify you of the construction schedule. Your insurer will also manage local council approvals as required. Asbestos removal work will be undertaken by licensed workers.

5. Cash settlement

You may take a cash settlement to manage the repair or rebuilding work yourself. It’s important that you comply with council regulations and buildings codes, as well as using a licensed builder. If you fail to do this your home may not be insurable in the future.

6. Feedback/complaints

If you are unhappy with the handling of your insurance claim, you can lodge a complaint with your insurer. Your insurer has a dedicated dispute resolution process to resolve your concerns. For further assistance, contact the Australian Financial Complaints Authority on1800931678.

Please contact your insurer with any claims questions. For general insurance inquiries, contact the Insurance Council of Australia on 1300 728 228.

Information for flood affected households

The Department of Health has a range of fact sheets providing important information for people whose homes have been flooded. You can access these via their website.