Storms and floods advice and support

Agriculture Victoria has a recovery team in place to work with producers and industry following the recent storms and floods across Victoria.

An important part of our role in emergencies includes assessing the impacts and damage, this will inform the types of support required both immediately and over the medium to long-term.

Producers are encouraged to phone Agriculture Victoria on 0427 694 185 if they have horticultural, livestock or other agricultural issues resulting from the recent storms and floods.

Urgent animal health concerns – injury, loss or disease

Field with pastures in foreground and flooding in background

Anyone with urgent animal welfare issues should contact Agriculture Victoria on 1800 226 226.

For further advice on checking livestock, pets and animals after flood.

Sewage and livestock

Information for farmers that are concerned that their paddocks, pastures or animals have been impacted by sewage contaminated floodwater

  • Animal owners should avoid livestock having any contact with sewage contaminated water or areas where sewage contamination has occurred.
  • Cattle and pigs that come into contact with untreated sewage can develop parasitic infections caused by the human tapeworms Taenia solium and Taenia saginata respectively.
  • The infection of Taenia saginata in cattle is called Cysticercus bovis ('beef measles') and is notifiable in Victoria. Further information on notifiable diseases.

If sewage contamination is suspected on your property notify Agriculture Victoria on 1800 226 226.

Financial assistance and support

Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA)

Support is sometimes available for people impacted by floods and storms under the national Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements including Emergency Re-establishment Payments.

What payments are available?

Emergency re-establishment payment

The emergency re-establishment payment provides assistance to households of limited financial means, whose home is uninhabitable, destroyed or is inaccessible. The payment can cover clean-up, emergency accommodation, repairs, rebuilding (a principal place of residence), and replacing some damaged contents. More detail, including eligibility information is available on the VicEmergency website.

Disaster Recovery Payment

The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) can provide one-off financial assistance to eligible Australians adversely affected by storms and floods. The rate of AGDRP is $1000 per eligible adult and $400 per eligible child.

AGDRP can also be available for people who have been seriously injured, have lost their homes or whose homes have been directly damaged, whose major assets have been directly damaged or are the immediate family members of a person who has died as a direct result of storms and floods.

Disaster Recovery Allowance

The Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) 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 storms and floods.

DRA provides fortnightly payments for up to 13 weeks up to the applicable rate of JobSeeker Payment or Youth Allowance, depending on the person's circumstances. DRA is not available to those already receiving another income support payment or pension such as the Age Pension, JobSeeker Payment or Service Pension.

More information is available at VicEmergency.

Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund (GERF)

The Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund (GERF) provides immediate financial assistance to residents who suffer loss or hardship as a direct result of an emergency that occurs within the Gippsland region.

To be considered for funding by GERF, a referral must be made by an assessment officer from Council or another agency. The Municipal Recovery Manager (or delegate) will assess each case utilising specific criteria and validate each application either by a physical inspection or via the provision of photographs from the landholder.

For more information visit www.gerf.org.au

Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS)

The RFCS provides free financial counselling to farmers and small businesses who are in, or at risk of, financial hardship.

Rural Financial Counselling Service remains available for farmers seeking support and can be contacted on 1800 686 175 (toll free) or Eastern RFCS on 1300 045 747.

Emergency contacts and information

Life threatening emergencies

Always call triple zero if there is a threat to life.

Phone: 000

Vic State Emergency Service (VICSES)

For VICSES flood emergency assistance and to locate your local unit.

Phone: 132 500

Information Hotline: 1800 226 226

Social Media:

VicEmergency

Monitor the VicEmergency app, VicEmergency website and hotline for flood warnings and emergency information in Victoria.

Emergency broadcasters

Emergency broadcasters on radio and television for flood events

ABC 828 and 100.7 GOLD 1242
SKY News Television

Technical support

Agriculture Victoria staff can assist farmers with technical support and advice in the following areas:

  • farm recovery after floods
  • grazing and pasture recovery
  • water budgeting and quality
  • soil erosion management
  • land class fencing
  • animal health and nutrition
  • whole farm planning.

For more information, call  1800 226 226.

For information on workshops and events.

Advice on how to prepare for a flood and what to do before and after a flood, go to the Agriculture Victoria flood page.

To report flood damage on farm: Call 136 186.

Emergency Animal Disease (EAD) Hotline

If you suspect a pest or disease outbreak or have seen something unusual, contact the EAD hotline on 1800 675 888.

Business support

Farm Business Management and Planning Support

Agriculture Victoria normally delivers technical and decision-making support services to assist farm businesses recover from events such as major floods. Working with our industry partners, the department provides services across industries including beef, sheep, dairy, grains, horticulture and irrigation.

Farmer Assistance Hotline (Aust Govt)

Information on the Australian Government's support services available to farmers and rural communities: Call 132 316

Farm Hub (Aust Govt)

Farm Hub aims to provide farmers with a single portal through which they can access information about assistance and advice to manage hardship.

Visit farmhub.org.au

BlazeAid

BlazeAid works alongside families and individuals in rural Australia to help rebuild fences and other structures that have been damaged or destroyed through natural disasters.

Visit www.blazeaid.com.au

Regional support

The key point of coordination at the local level, providing information on recovery services, support options, emerging risks and pressures can be assessed by: Phone: 0427 694 185

Agriculture Victoria recovery support services

Technical support and advice is available in the following areas:

Grazing and pasture recovery

  • Species options for resowing
  • Soil requirements for sowing new pastures
  • Assessing soil characteristics
  • Interpreting soil test results
  • Predicting pasture recovery over the next year

Water budgeting and quality

  • Assess on-farm storage capacity in dams and tanks
  • Plan pipes and water troughs on your property
  • Identify stock water requirements
  • Develop strategies to protect water supplies from contamination

Soil erosion management

Loss of ground cover can lead to significant soil erosion. Technical advice is available for the following:

  • Mitigating soil erosion
  • Gully, tunnel and sheet erosion
  • Impacts on water quality following a bushfire
  • Building a sediment fence

Land class fencing

Land class fencing allows you to sub-divide your farm considering attributes that impact on productivity and soil degradation, including:

  • Slope, topography and aspect
  • Soil types
  • Climate
  • Surface rock or stone

Animal health and nutrition

  • Feed budgeting, including understanding feed quality and livestock requirements
  • Long-term farm decisions and managing through varying climatic conditions
  • Costs, cashflow to aid short and long-term decisions
  • Stock condition scores and targets
  • Containment areas and restocking
  • Using own land for agistment
  • Using land for hay and silage production or cropping
  • Design and management of shade and shelter for livestock
  • Advice on animal health

Whole farm planning

Whole Farm Planning can help improve farm productivity and sustainability through the following:

  • Matching land use and capability
  • Understand of soils and their management
  • Assessing water needs
  • Management of land degradation
  • Pastures and grazing management
  • Native vegetation in a farming system
  • Risk management
  • Farm design (paddock size, laneways etc)

Flood warnings and rainfall information

Road closures

For latest road closures and traffic hazards see VicRoads – VicTraffic

Flood warnings

For information about flood warnings see the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM)

Rainfall and river height information

You can view forecasts, rainfall and river height information on the BoM website.

Personal and family support

  • Lifeline
    24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services.
    Phone: 131 114
  • Beyondblue 24/7 telephone information and support to help everyone in Australia achieve their best possible mental health.
    Phone: 1300 224 636
  • MensLine Australia
    24/7 service for men with relationship and family concerns.
    Phone: 1300 78 99 78
  • Family Relationship Service
    Providing families with access to information about family relationship issues.
    Phone: 1800 050 321
  • Mental health care plan
    A mental health care plan provides Medicare rebates for up to 10 individual or 10 group appointments per year with a psychologist, occupational therapist or social worker. Contact your local GP for a referral.
  • Nurse-on-call
    Expert health information and advice (14 hours, 7 days)
    Phone: 1300 60 60 24
  • Australian Red Cross For people affected by Victorian Severe Weather and Flood.
    Phone: 1800 733 276
  • Emergency Management Victoria Advice for responding in an emergency to COVID-19 confirmed cases or close contacts or Family Violence.
  • GPs and Community Health Care providers
    If you or a loved one need support during difficult times, visit your local doctor (GP).  Community health services also provide a range of primary health care services that could include: acute hospital care, medical centre, home and community care, district nursing, women’s health, allied health services. (podiatry, occupational therapy etc), counselling, pharmacy, referrals.

Other support

Translated flood safety factsheets

The Victorian Department of Health has a few translated resources available to help families prepare for and recover from floods.

Page last updated: 10 Sep 2021