Flood and storm recovery

Message from Mayor Cr Andrea Metcalf

Thank you to all residents for the way you have supported each other during a very challenging time and I also acknowledge the fantastic work of emergency services. Greater Bendigo experienced three significant weather events in a fortnight, which damaged homes, businesses and community facilities, and has left us all with a huge task as we move into the recovery phase. This was followed closely by severe storms on February 13 that caused extended power outages and widespread damage due to fallen trees.

The City is committed to working with the community and partner organisations to provide the support you need in the coming weeks and months.

Flood recovery

Community drop-in sessions/barbeques

Flood affected residents are invited to the following opportunities to meet with City staff and representatives from other agencies.

Heathcote

  • Wednesday March 6, 4pm – 7pm
  • Barrack Reserve, Northern Highway side, Heathcote

Junortoun

  • Thursday March 21, 4pm – 7pm
  • Bendigo Baptist Church, 757 McIvor Hwy Junortoun

Huntly

  • Wednesday March 27, 4pm – 7pm
  • Strauch Reserve, 14 Gungurru Road Huntly

Redesdale and surrounds

  • Thursday April 18, 4pm – 7pm
  • Redesdale Community Pavilion, Recreaton Reserve
Drainage and engineering requests

If you would like a City drain inspected or to discuss flooding around your property with the City’s engineering team, please email: 

[email protected]

Rates - financial hardship

The City’s Financial Hardship Guidelines are in place to help if you are experiencing financial stress.

  • Phone the City to discuss your situation and work out what assistance is available, call 1300 002 642
  • Contact a free financial counsellor by calling the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007
  • Experiencing financial hardship can impact your mental health. If you are worried about your mental wellbeing, contact Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636
General flood recovery enquiries

For all other general flood recovery enquiries and requests, email [email protected]

Women’s Health Loddon Mallee: Women Rising

Disasters such as floods increase existing gender inequalities and cause unequal health, social and economic outcomes that are more likely to affect women.

Women’s Health Loddon Mallee has undertaken a range of activities in partnership with stakeholders across the Loddon Mallee region in response to the floods experienced in October 2022.

Read a case study summarising these activities

In addition, Women’s Health Loddon Mallee has undertaken research with women across the Loddon Mallee region to capture their lived experience of the floods.

A full report is being released on March 19. This report will provide insights into women’s lived flood experiences, a framework for considering women’s wellbeing and empowerment in the planning, response and recovery stages of floods, and recommendations for action. To be emailed a copy, please contact [email protected]

ARC Justice - Advice, advocacy, tenancy and insurance

ARC Justice provides free legal and housing help to people who are on a low income or experiencing other types of disadvantage. If you are affected by the recent storms and floods and are living in a rental home or public housing and have a problem with your tenancy, ARC Justice can assist.

ARC Justice

BlazeAid update

BlazeAid volunteers are continuing to assist flood affected areas, supporting primary producers and small rural landholders to restore and/or replace damaged fencing.

They have been working from the base camp at Goornong Recreation Reserve since February 1, with volunteers coming from all over Victoria, other parts of Australia and even volunteers from Germany, Thailand, Brazil and Scotland.

Factsheets

See the Department of Health flood factsheets for useful information on:

  • Power outages after a flood
  • Septic tanks in flood affected areas.
  • After a flood Mould and your health
  • How to protect yourself from mosquito borne diseases after a flood
  • Private water sources in flood affected areas

Department of Health: Flood factsheets

Other updates

Fixed-term role to support flood recovery

An existing staff member has been tasked with preparing the City’s submissions for Disaster Ready funding, fast-tracking a drainage improvement program and prioritising immediate works in priority waterways. This interim role will be in place for the next four months.


Community experiences of the October 2022 floods

Were you affected by the October 2022 floods? An online survey is being undertaken from March 8, 2024 so you can share your story to improve flood safety, with a chance to win one of ten $150 Woolworths gift vouchers.

This is part of an independent research project being undertaken by Natural Hazards Research Australia with RMIT University, Monash University and Macquarie University, and will aid in improving community safety and resilience in future floods.

Be part of improving preparedness and response for floods, and reduce future flood risk. Find out more and complete the survey:

Natural Hazards Research Australia


Secondary Impact Assessments

Secondary Impact Assessments (SIA) commenced on Monday January 29 and were completed Thursday February 15, 2024.

A SIA is the process for determining an emergency’s impact on an affected community.

The SIA teams from the City visited over 400 properties to quantify impacts and to identify the individual needs of people and communities impacted by the recent flooding and storm events.


Consumer Affairs Victoria

Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) is Victoria’s consumer regulator who administers more than 30 legislative schemes in Victoria to ensure a fair, safe and competitive marketplace.

CAV provides information and assistance on your rights and responsibilities across renting, buying and selling property, and building and renovating.

CAV can answer all your questions about renting, from before you sign the lease until after you move out.

For helpful information and advice visit the CAV website or phone 1300 55 81 81

Consumer Affairs Victoria


Support for farmers and primary producers

Agriculture Victoria provides support to impacted primary producers through its Agriculture Recovery Team. You can contact the team on 0427 694 185. This number is regularly monitored and provides a call-back service. For animal welfare support, call the Agriculture Victoria Animal Welfare hotline on 136 186.


Tenants Victoria

Tenants Victoria gives free advice to people that rent residential accommodation in Victoria. It also offers a renter advice line and email advice service.

The Tenants Victoria webpage has a lot of helpful information or contact the renter support line on (03) 9416 2577.

Tenants Victoria


Insurance Council of Australia

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) is the representative body for the general insurance industry of Australia. ICA is unable to offer direct consumer advice or services, but for information on how to make a complaint or raise a concern with your insurer.

Insurance Council of Australia

Mental health

It is understandable if you are feeling concerned and experiencing a mix of strong emotions.

Free Victorian Government funded mental health and wellbeing support is available to all people in flood impacted communities.

Bendigo Mental Health and Wellbeing Hub

Providing mental health wellbeing support to small businesses and community members in Greater Bendigo

Call 1300 375 330 or 0409 539 267

Bendigo and Echuca Mental Health and Wellbeing Local

Wellbeing support available via telehealth for Greater Bendigo, Loddon and Campaspe.

Bendigo: 03 5497 5600

Echuca: 03 5412 6600

Loddon Children's Health and Wellbeing Hub

Operated by Bendigo Community Health Services, the hub provides free health and wellbeing support for children up to 11 years old, and their families and carers.

1800 433 977

Telehealth support options

In addition to locally based supports, broader state-wide supports are available to all people impacted by the recent flooding events, through the following telehealth support options: 

Rural Health Connect

Lifeline

Storm recovery

Disaster Relief – free storm waste disposal

Following the latest storm event on February 13, 2024, the City is offering free disposal of waste generated by the storm at our transfer stations and Eaglehawk Landfill until Tuesday April 30, 2024.

Staff will inspect all loads being dropped off, to ensure that the waste is a result of the storm. Customers will also need to provide proof of living in the Greater Bendigo municipality.

Clean-up programs for February 2024 storms

Support is available to community members whose homes were damaged in the recent storms or bushfires and who are not covered by insurance, including:

  • Removal of hazardous storm-damaged trees from properties, under certain circumstances and if eligibility requirements are met
  • Demolition of storm or bushfire-damaged homes if eligibility requirements are met

Clean-up support for storm damaged homes