Recovering from bushfire starts with a practical plan

23 December 2020

The best start to recovery after fire begins as soon as possible, but it’s not an easy task in the immediate aftermath.

Over the years Agriculture Victoria has attended hundreds of properties to help farmers and while fires affect everyone differently, the steps to recovery and the services available remain the same.

Statewide Recovery Manager Jo Cameron said the updated guide is now available to help farmers rebuild and give them a one-stop reference to the support available to them.

'Recovery After Fire: Practical Steps for Farmers' is a step-by-step guide to help anyone affected by fire to start the recovery process.

'It includes steps to take immediately after the fire and also for short-term recovery and longer-term rebuilding.'

Ms Cameron said the guide includes the immediate first steps that need to be undertaken, how to look after your property and livestock as well as your own health and safety.

'It covers re-fencing, dealing with erosion and flooding, pasture recovery, pest and weed control and preparing for the next season.

'We hope this guide helps farmers during the hectic and fatiguing first few days, with immediate steps to follow, as well as stepping farmers through the longer term recovery phase.'

'There are many services and networks available and this guide includes that information.'

The printed booklet is available from Agriculture Victoria, with a digital version online or hard copies available by contacting our Agriculture Recovery Managers or the Customer Services Centre on 136 186.

As for those farmers affected by the fires of 2019 — 20, the recovery process continues.

Agriculture Victoria Recovery Managers in the North East and East Gippsland are available for support, in particular with regards to farm erosion, water budgeting, pasture recovery and animal health.

We are also continuing to offer one-on-one consultations with our expert staff in Gippsland and the North-East for bushfire affected farmers.

If you are in the North East contact Agriculture Recovery Manager North-East Kylie Macreadie on 0427 052 352.

If you are in Gippsland contact Agriculture Recovery Manager Gippsland Keren Walker on 0477 706 384.

Farmers should note that the Emergency Bushfire Response in Primary Industries Grant Program, which provides up to $75,000 for primary producers to assist with clean-up and recovery has been extended and will now close on 31 January 2021.

The Small Business Bushfire Support Grant, which provides up to $10,000 to support small businesses significantly affected by fire has also been extended until 31 January 2021.

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For further information contact Rural Finance on 1800 260 425, or visit: ruralfinance.com.au.

Media contact: Mel Curtis, 0402 001 853.