Storm recovery

Our Shire was impacted by two extreme weather events recently. A storm and flooding event in and around Creswick in January 2022, and a storm in and around Trentham in June 2021. 

Creswick storm and flood

5 January 2022 event resulted in flooding in the Creswick township and 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

9 June 2021 storm event which 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 impacted
  • 153 private properties with fencing damaged
  • 57 dangerous trees at risk of falling on dwelling or access.

Read the Trentham storm recovery newsletter(PDF, 2MB)

Community recovery sessions - Dr Rob Gordon

Our Shire is hosting two free evenings for all residents of our storm-affected communities to gather for a meal and to hear guest speaker, psychologist Dr Rob Gordon, share his insights into the practical and emotional responses after such emergency events. It's a great opportunity to check in on each other and also enjoy a meal with fellow community members.

Food will be available from 6pm. Dr Gordon will speak at 6.30pm for about an hour. We expect to wrap up around 8.30pm. Dr Gordon will be available to talk with you if you are interested. Please register using the links below:

CRESWICK

Wednesday 22 June 2022 from 6pm – 8.30pm at Doug Lindsay Recreation Reserve – register now

LYONVILLE

Thursday 23 June 2022, from 6pm – 8.30pm at Lyonville Hall, Brenmer Avenue, Lyonville – register now

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.

Watch his talk in Trentham about recovering from traumatic events.

Free chainsaw classes

Free chainsaw courses (valued at $600) during August and September 2022 are being run by the Creswick Timber Training Centre using storm-thrown timber collected in the clean-up from the June 2021 storm. Participants will receive a chainsaw accreditation and free safety pack of goggles and gloves. These classes are intended for participants to then use their skills to support their local chosen community group. Registrations close on 30 June 2022.

Register now

June 2021 storm - commemorative book

Our Storm Recovery Team is putting together a coffee table book as a commemoration of the storm event of June 2021. We welcome any contributions from people who would like to share their stories and/or photos. If you are not a writer, don’t worry, we can work collaboratively. Everybody’s experience is different, important and forms part of a collective experience. We are seeking first-hand accounts, large and small, of the storm and/or its aftermath. All contributions will be considered. Please contact our Communications team.

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 welcome@cafs.org.au.

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 www.ato.gov.au/disasters 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 ato.gov.au/onlineservices 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.