The storms that wreaked havoc throughout Yarra Ranges in early June are well in the past, but locals are still dealing with the problems they caused.
To assist people to move from crisis to recovery, Eastern Community Legal Centre (ECLC) has released a legal help check tool that walks people through a list of common issues and guides them to get assistance where needed.
The Disaster Recovery Legal Help Check asks residents to consider issues around safety, housing, insurance, employment, children and other areas.
Going through the check can help identify new issues or ones that may have been further complicated by the impact of the storm. For example, many people may not realise that legal advice could help with lodging insurance claims or managing employment issues.
Family violence can also increase in the aftermath of a disaster. This was observed around the time of the Black Summer bushfires and throughout the lockdown periods of the pandemic.
If you are concerned for your wellbeing or the wellbeing of someone you know, help is available. EDVOS is the local family violence service and ECLC can provide a range of family violence legal assistance including support with intervention orders. In the case of an immediate safety risk, please call Triple Zero (000).
ECLC’s Director of Legal Services, Belinda Lo, said many people don’t realise they have a problem until well after a natural disaster has occurred.
“We are working with Yarra Ranges Council and other services to support people on the ground. This legal help check is another tool that can save people additional problems down the track. People who identify legal issues can come to us for assistance or referrals.”
ECLC is the local lead for Disaster Legal Help Victoria in Yarra Ranges and the eastern suburbs of Melbourne.