Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund provides immediate financial assistance to residents who suffer loss or hardship as a direct result of an emergency that occurs within the Gippsland region.
The fund focuses on providing for personal losses such as people’s immediate requirements for food, shelter, clothing, utensils, furniture, bedding, children’s educational needs, etc, as distinct from capital items covered by insurance or government grants.
Help and assistance by GERF is provided to people in need as a result of bushfire, flood or other acts of nature that affect their principal place of residence.
GERF funds can also be provided to people during an emergency if they cannot return home due to an obstruction (flood water/bridge closure, etc) or traffic management action, or in exceptional circumstances when a family does not qualify for other support.
Financial support is most effective when provided as quickly as possible following the impact or onset of an emergency situation. For this reason, field assessment teams gather impact data on individuals and properties affected by the emergency as soon as possible after an event and when safe access is granted to the impacted area.
This information is then relayed to the Council Operations Centre/Co-ordination Centre, which works closely with GERF to identify where financial aid is most needed.
To be considered for funding by GERF, a referral must be made by an assessment officer and then endorsed by the respective Municipal Recovery Manager. Once a grant has been authorised by the GERF Executive, payment will be made as soon as possible; usually by electronic funds transfer.