EMERGENCY financial grants have already been announced for victims of Thursday night’s devastating tornado.
The Victorian, NSW and federal governments said yesterday that money would be made available to people significantly affected by the storms.
The office of NSW Emergency Services Minister Mike Gallacher had been working since late on Thursday night to ensure people were given whatever assistance was required.
A spokesman said at the top of the list was immediate welfare needs, including emergency housing and food.
“A team has just flown down to those communities to assess what needs to be done,” he said.
“This work is all done through the local councils to make sure people get the help they need.”
Victorian Emergency Services Minister Kim Wells flew to Yarrawonga yesterday to assess the damage first-hand.
Mr Wells, in making the grants announcement in conjunction with federal Attorney-General and Emergency Management Minister Mark Dreyfus, said the money would help communities “resume a normal life as quickly as possible”.
“These recent events had a devastating impact on a number of communities and it is important that support is provided to help them recover and move forward,” he said.
Mr Wells said personal hardship grants would assist with essential health, and well-being needs.
Mr Gallacher’s spokesman said any announcement of a possible natural disaster declaration for the Mulwala area rested with Moira Council and the NSW Department of Primary Industries.
“I can assure that once DPI makes that assessment, the Minister would sign off on it within the hour,” he said.
Member for Albury Greg Aplin said Mr Gallacher’s office was briefed about the storms “and they’ll be looking for information about the full impact of the damage”.
“This would have been a shocking experience for everybody,” he said.
“It’s taken everybody by surprise and there would have been no time for preparation, so therefore the damage is even greater.”