Rebuilding support - bushfire recovery

Find out about assistance available for planning, rebuilding, housing and other matters about your rebuilding journey.

The rebuilding journey can be difficult but we are here to help get you the support and guidance you need.

Bushfire Recovery Support

The Bushfire Recovery Support Program can help people navigate the rebuild process, as well as connect them in with financial and other support for their rebuild journey and overall recovery.  

The Bushfire Recovery Support can also connect you to any personal support you may need.  

Contact our Bushfire Recovery Support Program on 1800 560 760.

Rebuilding Support Service

A free rebuilding support service is being delivered through the East Gippsland Shire and Towong Shire to support people who are rebuilding on the land they own and occupy (their principal place of residence). This service will help connect you to the right support services in every step of your rebuild.

Short-Term Modular Housing 

Short-Term Modular Housing is an available option for those who lost their primary place of residence in the bushfires. The program is flexible and aims to get people back on their land and in their communities.     

The modular housing comes in standard designs that accommodate most temporary accommodation needs. The design can be customised to meet specific needs such as mobility access requirements.    

If your site is hard to access, or the delivery or placement of a Short Term Modular Housing is challenging, Bushfire Recovery Victoria (BRV) will work with you and the suppliers to come up with a solution.  

The program is designed to be affordable. The hire fee for Short-Term Modular Homes will never be more than 25% of your income.  

Recipients can also request an independent financial review to see if they are eligible for lower hire fees. More than 60% of the people who have signed up for a Short-Term Modular Home have been approved for lower hire fees.  

The Short-Term Modular Housing program is open now. To get started call 1800 560 760 and speak with a local Recovery Case Support Worker.

Complex sites

While most households will have a typical rebuild in front of them, some rebuilds will be complex. This could be due to the property having a high Bushfire Attack Level rating or being located in an extreme bushfire risk area. 

Property owners of complex sites will face more challenges building a home that is safe to live in.

The Rebuild Support Service is available to help and the Bushfire Recovery Case Support Program will also work closely with owners of complex sites on further options for support.

For more information, please view the Rebuilding Support Program factsheet. 

Complex Site Taskforce

We want people to rebuild successfully and safely. To assist with this, an independent Complex Site Taskforce has been established.  

The Complex Site Taskforce brings together internal and external experts to find solutions for home locations on individual sites.

It can provide advice, through services that will assist with concept planning and building design and site specific risk mitigation measures. This may include supporting property owners to retreat from the previous house suite and rebuild in a lower risk location, if practical.

For property owners where an alternative house site is not possible, a voluntary Resettlement Program is available to owners of high-risk, complex sites providing the option to sell their property at the 2019 site value (approved by the Government Land Monitor) to the Victorian Government. 

This option is offered as a last resort and will be administered in line with previous Victorian Government resettlement schemes, where homeowners are eligible. 

Planning Pack: A guide to your rebuild journey

Rebuilding after a bushfire is a big job. Everybody has different circumstances and will make different choices – and that’s okay.

We have prepared an information pack to help you make informed choices in planning, designing and commissioning your rebuild. The guide is general in nature and covers all the basics, but every site and rebuild is different. To make sure all your questions are answered, we recommend you make an appointment with the Rebuilding Support Services.

You can download the Planning Pack PDF: 

Clean up

Our free clean up program was completed in August 2020. 742 properties were cleaned across Victoria, including damaged or destroyed houses and structures.

Households that did not take up the offer of a free clean-up should contact their local council to discuss their options.

Hazardous trees

Hundreds of thousands of trees have been damaged or destroyed in the 2019–20 Victorian Bushfires. Many damaged trees remain standing that can potentially cause serious injury or death. Tree hazards are a risk at all stages of operations.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is responsible for the removal of hazardous trees on public or Crown land that are damaged by bushfires and pose an immediate safety risk along roads, tracks and public sites.

Visit Vegetation Management for Bushfire Protection for more information. 

The rebate program

The Victorian and Commonwealth Governments have made up to $27,000 in rebates available for landowners whose properties were destroyed or significantly damaged by the 2019–20 Victorian bushfires. 

These rebates will cover some of the costs incurred in engaging professional services to prepare reports and other documentation necessary for lodging planning and building permit applications to rebuild dwellings on fire-affected sites.  

The rebates are available across three programs: 

  1. Up to $20,000 in rebates is available to support households in East Gippsland, Towong and Alpine Shire Councils to replace their rainwater and septic tanks on their primary place of residence.
  2. Up to $2,000 in rebates for geotechnical assessments of their site is available for residents in East Gippsland and Towong Shire Councils.
  3. Up to $5,000 in rebates is available for assessments to support a planning or building permit application for residents in East Gippsland and Towong Shire Councils. 

For more information visit the Melbourne Water website

Reviewed 26 April 2021

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