200 generators will be distributed in Victoria’s east to households that are without power, following catastrophic storms and flooding that hit the state – leaving many without power for weeks.
Extensive damage to the electricity network, particularly around Mount Dandenong, is expected to leave around 1,500 households without power for the next three weeks.
Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, has announced the arrival of the generators, which will be distributed to those most in need.
Ms D’Ambrosio said, “The outages have had, and continue to have, a big impact – and we’ll continue to help people rebuild their houses, their communities and their lives.”
“These generators will allow people to stay in their homes and stay warm as we clean up after these devastating storms.”
The generators were trucked overnight from Sydney to Victoria thanks to both Bunnings – who donated 100 generators – and the Victorian Government, which purchased the remainder.
Distribution of the 8kW generators will begin immediately, with eligible households directed to contact local family and community service organisation Windemere, who will assess need and prioritise distribution to ensure the generators go to those who need them most.
Victorian Acting Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Danny Pearson, said the storms have been very difficult for the community.
“This storm event has been incredibly difficult for the communities impacted – especially those who are without power. We’ll continue to ensure they get the support and resources they need on their road to recovery,” Mr Pearson said.
The generators will give residents who want to stay at home enough energy to power the basics – such as some lights, a microwave and a small heater.
Andrew Crisp from the Emergency Management Commission said, “These generators will make a big difference, and we appreciate the work of all our emergency services and the ADF in getting them to residents.”
People who receive the generators will still be able to receive the Victorian Government payments, such as the Prolonged Power Outage Payment of $1,680 per week.
Volunteers from VICSES and the CFA, as well as Australian Defence Force personnel, will help get the generators and accessories to people in need.
Safety information will be provided by Energy Safe Victoria to all recipients about setting-up, refuelling, and maintenance.
People affected by the storms are also being provided broader support services through Windemere, to ensure their immediate physical and mental needs are met.