Current incidents: Gippsland and North East fires recovery and response
On this page:
- Latest updates
- Practical information for managing your farm after a fire
- Support available
- Support for primary producers
- Personal support
- Domestic animals, pets and wildlife
- Other support
- Media releases
The Victorian and Commonwealth governments are supporting landholders impacted by recent fires across Victoria.
For support with animal welfare assistance or the latest emergency information, please call the Vic Emergency Hotline on 1800 226 226.
For more information on bushfire recovery, please contact:
Bushfire Recovery Victoria – 1800 560 760
Regional Recovery Managers:
- North East – 0428 975 728
- Gippsland Recovery – (03) 5159 5118
For more information on bushfire recovery, please contact Agriculture Victoria on 136 186 or see agriculture.vic.gov.au/animalemergencies.
29 January 2020
The Victorian Government announced today it will help landholders in bushfire-affected communities repair damaged or destroyed fences between private land and National Parks, State Parks and State forests.
The funding gives farmers the flexibility to not just replace their boundary fences with a standard fence but to upgrade them, making them more fire-resistant and better able to exclude pests such as wild dogs.
The Government will pay half the cost of these boundary fencing upgrades, up to $5,000 per kilometre.
The Government will continue to pay 100 per cent of the restoration costs of fences damaged on private land as a result of machinery used by fire agencies to control bushfires, or fire agency staff cutting through fences to allow access for suppression efforts.
For more information visit vic.gov.au/bushfire-recovery-victoria.
17 January 2020
The Victorian Government has today announced transport subsidies of up to $15,000 for primary producers (including apiarists) affected by bushfires across Victoria. Primary producers can claim the subsidy on eligible transport costs that directly address immediate animal welfare needs, including the transport of:
- Emergency fodder for stock to fire-affected properties
- Stock to agistment (including returning stock)
- Stock to sale or slaughter
- Emergency stock drinking water.
For more information contact Rural Finance on 1800 260 425 or visit ruralfinance.com.au.
Practical information for managing your farm after a fire
Drought feeding and management of livestock
- Feedinglivestock.vic.gov.au – Sheep and beef drought feeding and management books and other related livestock feeding tools and resources.
- Agisting livestock affected by a bushfire
- Assessing cattle after a bushfire
- Assessing sheep after a bushfire
- Horses affected by bushfire
- Disposing of carcasses
- Guide to introducing grain to sheep an cattle (PDF - 234.9 KB)
- Guide to introducing grain to sheep an cattle (WORD - 164.6 KB)
- Livestock traceability in fire-affected areas (PDF - 110.9 KB)
- Livestock traceability in fire-affected areas (WORD - 156.9 KB)
Pasture and soil
- Weed invasion after emergencies
- Pasture recovery after fire
- Water and pasture after bushfire
- Preventing soil erosion (PDF - 163.9 KB)
- Accessing fencing support after 2019–20 Victorian bushfires (PDF - 153.7 KB)
- Accessing fencing support after 2019–20 Victorian bushfires (WORD - 111.0 KB)
Wine industry support
Support for primary producers
Emergency Transport Support Program: Primary Producers
Fire-affected primary producers (including apiarists) can claim up to $15,000 to support the following:
Up to 50% of costs can be claimed for a maximum of 1500 kilometres per movement, or a maximum of 500 kilometres for water movement.
Available in eligible fire affected local government areas across Victoria.
For further information call:
ruralfinance.com.au – Click on the Victorian Bushfire Assistance link.
Emergency Bushfire Response in Primary Industries Grants
Grants of up to $75,000 per business to assist primary producers directly affected by the 2019-20 bushfire disaster events with costs associated with immediate recovery activities needed to rebuild their primary production enterprises.
Eligible activities include disposing of dead stock, and rebuilding or replacing damaged or destroyed on-farm infrastructure, including fencing.
The grants are available in eligible fire affected local government areas across Victoria.
For further information call:
ruralfinance.com.au – Click on the Victorian Bushfire Assistance link.
Emergency stock movement: NLIS exemptions
Agriculture Victoria has put in place an exemption to help Victorian producers impacted by fires move their livestock for sale or slaughter.
Untagged livestock can be consigned to an abattoir from properties in fire affected areas.
Agriculture Victoria NLIS
Helpline: 1800 678 779
Text message: 0437 106 473
Wine grape industry assistance
Smoke impact testing rebate and shuttle service
Technical Advice and support
Smoke impact testing rebate and shuttle service for growers
The Victorian Government will provide a rebate to growers for smoke impact testing. The rebate is capped at $1200 per grower.
The rebate is available for samples submitted for testing between 1 January 2020 and 31 March 2020.
Growers can select a laboratory for smoke impact tests. Laboratory testing is available through Vintessential Laboratories and the Australian Wine Research Institute.
Each laboratory outlines its requirements for submitting test samples on its website.
Growers will need to submit receipts from the testing laboratories to Agriculture Victoria in order to receive the rebate.
Agriculture Victoria is also providing a shuttle service to wine grape growing regions to ensure efficient movement of plant material across biosecurity zones.
From 23 January 2020, frozen diagnostic samples will be picked up at regional collection points (listed below).
Phylloxera management practices remain in place. Vine material requires specific certification to be moved across different zones and state borders.
Agriculture Victoria will conduct quarantine inspections at collection points and provide permits and certificates as required.
North East Victoria Collection Points
Southern Victoria Collection Points
Technical support grants
Grants will be available for growers to access technical decision-making support as a follow up to laboratory testing.
Regional wine associations are also eligible for funding to support group activities, such as sensory panels or technical workshops.
The application process for these grants is being finalised.
Agriculture Victoria will administer the support program and will advise industry of the process once finalised.
For more information or queries contact:
North East Victoria
Wally Ceccato: 0439 864 240
Australian Wine Research Institute
Eric Wilkes: 0408 745 280
Bushfire Clean-up Program
Registration is now open for the 2020 Clean-Up Program which is being delivered by Grocon on behalf of the Victorian Government.
The program covers costs associated with the demolition and disposal of all buildings destroyed or damaged beyond repair by the 2019-2020 bushfires.
This includes residential homes and sheds, commercial and public buildings, and other out-buildings.
Funding is available to insured and uninsured properties.
Fencing, trees and vehicles may be removed, but only where necessary for the safe clean-up of destroyed buildings.
For more information and to register for the clean-up, contact:
Bushfire Recovery Victoria
Ph: 1800 560 760
Animal welfare, technical and decision-making support for managing livestock after a bushfire
Agriculture Victoria is providing animal welfare assessments and referring urgent cases of personal need to appropriate agencies.
Agriculture Victoria also provides technical and decision-making support for managing livestock, property and domestic animals and pets before and after fires.
Agriculture Victoria has technical information and tools on topics including:
Hive Aid is a drought and bushfire relief campaign aimed at supporting all Australian professional beekeepers struggling from the difficult conditions currently being experienced across the country.
It is managed by Rural Aid and overseen by the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council.
To donate or to register for assistance, visit Capilano honey: Hive aid
Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS)
RFCS provides free financial counselling to farmers and small related businesses who are in, or at risk of, financial hardship.
Counsellors can provide referrals to other professional services including accountants, agricultural advisors, education, or counselling.
Counsellors can also assist applicants to apply for financial supports.
Call the Rural Financial Counselling Service
1800 686 175 (toll free) or
Western RFCS: 1300 735 578
Eastern RFCS: 1300 045 747
North East RFCS: 1300 834 775
North West RFCS: 1300 769 489
Or visit agriculture.gov.au: assistance
Farmers affected by the fires can request emergency fodder by contacting the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF).
Assistance can also be requested on the Need for Feed website by filling out the ‘apply for assistance’ form.
Fodder can be donated to the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) fodder relief program, or to Need for Feed.
If you would like to volunteer, please contact the VFF or visit the Need for Feed website and fill out the form to volunteer for a hay run.
Contact the VFF
Call Need for Feed
Emergency livestock water
Emergency stock drinking water may be accessed from Emergency Water Supply Points within your region.
To find your nearest point and how to access the water, contact your council or local water authority. Agriculture Victoria is managing requests from the North East.
Southern Rural Water
East Gippsland Shire
North East Agriculture Victoria Recovery
For offers of agistment please contact the VFF.
There is Emergency Livestock Agistment at the Bairnsdale Saleyards.
Fire damaged agricultural fencing
Farm fencing adjoining State and National parks and State forests
For fire damaged fences between private land and National Parks, State Parks or State forests, the Victorian Government will contribute 50 per cent of repair costs.
Where land holders wish to upgrade these fences to exclude pests such as wild dogs or to fire-resistant fencing the government will pay half the cost up to $5 per metre.
Farm fencing destroyed by firefighting activities
The Victorian Government will pay 100 per cent of the restoration costs for fences on private land that have been damaged through fire control and suppression measures by fire agencies and their staff.
For more information contact the DELWP Contact Centre.
For more information contact the
DELWP Contact Centre
Financial assistance is available through the Emergency Bushfire Response in Primary Industries $75,000 grants.
Repair and replacement of fencing, including labour and material costs, is an eligible claim under this program.
For more information contact Rural Finance.
Ph: 1800 260 425
Visit ruralfinance.com.au and click on the Victorian Bushfire Assistance link.
BlazeAid can provide in-kind assistance for re‑establishing fences for all types of livestock.
If you know of injured livestock and need assistance, please contact Agriculture Victoria or your local veterinarian.
Personal hardship assistance program
Emergency Relief Assistance Payment
Available for individuals impacted by fires in eligible fire affected local government areas across Victoria.
Available up to seven days after the event. Payments of up to $560 per adult and $280 per child (up to a maximum of $1960 per eligible household) are available to help meet immediate needs, including emergency food, shelter, clothing and personal items.
Emergency Re-establishment Payments
Available in East Gippsland and Towong Shires
Provides up to $42,250 per eligible household experiencing financial hardship, that has been affected by fire at their primary place of residence.
Visit an Emergency Relief Centre or call the Payment Assistance Helpline on 1800 961 054.
Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment and Allowance
Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment
Available in East Gippsland and Towong Shires.
The payment provides one-off financial assistance to Australians who have been seriously injured, lost or had their homes damaged directly by bushfire, or are immediate family members of a person who has died as a direct result of the bushfires.
The payment is $1000 per eligible adult and $400 per eligible child.
Disaster Recovery Allowance
Available in East Gippsland and Towong Shires
The allowance provides fortnightly payments for up to 13 weeks up to the applicable rate of Newstart or Youth Allowance, depending on the person’s circumstances
The allowance provides income support payments to employees, primary producers and sole traders who can demonstrate they have experienced a loss of income as a direct result of the bushfires.
Australian Government Department of Human Services
Ph: 180 22 66
Farm Household Allowance
The Australian Government makes an income support payment available to eligible farmers and their families experiencing financial hardship.
Call 132 316 or visit the website:
Domestic animals, pets and wildlife
Contact your local council for advice on displaced or lost pets.
People needing assistance with their animals as a result of the bushfires can contact the RSPCA Victoria support centre seven days a week, or their local vet.
RSPCA Victoria support centre
Technical information for pet welfare
Agriculture Victoria has technical information and tools to help pet owners during bushfires:
During and after bushfires, wildlife sightings may increase in roads and built up areas. These animals may be stressed or injured.
It is not recommended to catch injured wildlife due to the risk of injury to wildlife and people.
If there is no other option, approach the animal with caution, keep physical interaction to a minimum and immediately take the animal to a vet or to an authorised wildlife shelter for assessment and care.
Call DELWP on 136 186
Or check the website for local shelters and carers: wildlife.vic.gov.au
See Relief & Recovery information at Vic Emergency or contact the Victorian Emergency Recovery Information Line.
General Practitioners can also provide valuable support and arrange additional assistance if required.
Urgent mental health concerns
If you have urgent concerns about the mental health of others or yourself there are services available.
In an emergency you can also call 000 for assistance.
Mental Health Services
Nurse on Call
A 24-hour counselling service delivered by qualified experienced professionals.
Ph: 1800 737 732
Confidential telephone counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25.
Ph: 1800 551 800
Counselling and information for families with children up to 18 years. Open 8am to midnight, seven days.
Ph: 132 289
24-hour counselling and advice for men.
Ph: 1300 789 978
24-hour telephone counselling, information and referral service.
Ph: 13 11 14
Provides information on depression and anxiety.
Ph: 1300 224 636
Download support available as a factsheet:
- 11 Feb 2020: Recovery support for Gippsland farmers
- 8 Feb 2020: Pasture recovery after fire
- 7 Feb 2020: Agriculture Victoria commences recovery work
- 7 Feb 2020: Pasture recovery tips for Tambo Crossing producers
- 6 Feb 2020: Prevent organic pollution in farm dams
- 20 Jan 2020: Making livestock movement easier after fire
- 16 Jan 2020: Protect fire affected properties ahead of storms
- 14 Jan 2020: Smoke, ash and animal health
- 9 Jan 2020: Livestock owner preparation for high-risk fire days
- 2 Jan 2020: Call to assess livestock after fires