Do you need legal help?
Disaster Legal Help Victoria is a group of legal service organisations who provide free information and support for Victorians affected by disasters.
Free information and support
You can call Disaster Legal Help Victoria on 1800 113 432 to get free information about your legal issues and options for ongoing assistance.
Our legal factsheets cover the most common areas of legal concern to those affected by disasters. Topics covered include, fencing, property, destroyed wills and documents, and dealing with insurance and mortgage problems.
UPDATE Geelong floods public information session, Tuesday 22 March
Geelong Council is running a public information session for people affected by the Geelong floods in January. Disaster Legal Help lawyers will be there offering free legal assistance.
Date: Tuesday 22 March, 2016
Venue: Geelong West Townhall
153 Pakington Street Geelong West
UPDATE Disaster assistance – Ballarat and Mornington Peninsula bushfires
Minister for Justice Michael Keenan and Victorian Minister for Emergency Services Jane Garrett today announced disaster assistance in response to the Mount Bolton and Somervill bushfires, which occurred on 23 February 2016.
Anyone affected by the bushfires and suffering personal hardship and distress should call the Victorian Emergency Recovery Information Line on 1300 799 232 to find out about the assistance that is available.
More information about the assistance can be found on the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website at www.disasterassist.gov.au and the Emergency Relief and Recovery Victoria website at www.recovery.vic.gov.au.
Emergency payments for individuals and households
Eligible individuals in the local government area of Ballarat affected by the Mount Bolton Bushfire can now access the following emergency grants to relieve personal hardship and distress:
- Emergency Relief Assistance payments of up to $520 per adult and $260 per child (up to a maximum of $1,300 per household) to help meet immediate needs, including emergency food, shelter, clothing and personal items.
- Emergency Re-establishment Payments up to $32,500 per eligible household for clean-up, emergency accommodation, repairs, rebuilding a principal residence, and replacing some damaged contents.
In addition, Individuals and families affected by the Mount Bolton and Somerville bushfires can access personal and financial counselling.
Assistance for local councils and state agencies
Ballarat City Council, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council and state agencies can seek assistance with the costs of clean-up operations and the restoration of essential public assets.
The disaster assistance is being provided through the jointly-funded Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).
UPDATE: Free legal assistance for Wye River and Separation Creek communities
20 January 2016
Two of Disaster Legal Help’s lawyers will attend the Wye River and Separation Creek community forum on Thursday 21 January, from 5.30 to 7.30 pm. The forum will be held at Treasury Theatre, Lower Plaza, 1 Macarthur Street, East Melbourne.
Lawyers will provide free legal information and referrals in relation to a number of legal issues including insurance, fencing, emergency and crisis assistance payments, and replacing lost or destroyed documents.
If you are unable to attend the meeting and are in need of legal assistance, call Disaster Legal Help Victoria’s free helpline on 1800 113 432. The phone line is open Monday to Friday 8.45 am to 5.15 pm. You can also access legal fact sheets here and Victoria’s bushfire recovery planning information here.
UPDATE: Disaster Legal Help assistance for those affected by the Docklands fire
If you were affected by the November 2014 apartment block fire in central Melbourne's Docklands, we can provide you with legal advice and information. This includes information about whether or not you need to pay rent, what to do if you want to break your lease, and what insurance rights you have if your contents are insured. Call us on 1800 113 432. You can read more about the work of Disaster Legal Help Victoria following the fire here.
Information for people affected by bushfires in Victoria
Your guide to power outages
In response to the 2009 Victorian bushfires, the State Government produced a guide to power outages. Summer weather conditions increase the potential for power outages. You can prepare for a power outage by following the steps in Your Guide to Power Outages.