Disaster relief payments will finally be available for people across the whole North East struggling after the bushfires, with the assistance for the region upgraded by the federal government.
Alpine Council was the major beneficiary of Wednesday's announcement as it will receive an immediate $1 million, while residents can also apply for the disaster recovery payment - a one-off payment of $1000 per adult and $400 per child.
A separate disaster recovery allowance, a short-term payment to help if a declared disaster directly affects income, will be extended even further.
After it was initially made available to municipalities including Towong and Snowy Valleys, that has been extended for 13 more including Alpine, Wodonga, Wangaratta and Indigo.
These payments are available for up to 13 weeks.
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As of Wednesday evening, Alpine Shire has not received notification of the payments in writing, but mayor Peter Roper said it would be important for businesses to be able to access the services.
He said the council would welcome the immediate $1 million in funding as it had challenges such as attracting tourists back to the region and getting turf down so there is grass.
While much of the government's immediate relief funding went to areas directly hit by fire, many on the outskirts were hurting as tourists deserted the North East.
Assistant Financial Services Minister Jane Hume said payments were available from Wednesday.
"The disaster recovery allowance is designed to assist those who have lost their income and need additional support to get back on their feet," she said. "This is for people who can't go to work or run their small business."
Benambra MP Bill Tilley said workers' hours had been cut or scaled back because there was no one around.
"It's a victory for common sense to include Mount Beauty and Falls Creek in the areas affected by the bushfires, even if not directly by the flames. We've had businesses telling us that they have been decimated by the loss of tourists as a result of the instructions to evacuate the upper Kiewa Valley and the perception that all of the North East was, or is on fire," he said.
"To have this funding opened up to these businesses and workers was a silver lining to what has been a very heavy, black and smoky cloud hanging over their heads."