Australia — The Victorian Government has announced that up to $100,000 will be made available to people severely injured in February’s Victorian bushfires.
The chair of the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund Advisory Panel, John Landy, said a $50,000 lump sum payment would be provided to those who were severely injured and admitted to hospital for a sustained period.
“The funding will provide longer-term assistance for those with permanent physical injuries who require ongoing medical treatment, surgery or rehabilitation,” Mr Landy said in a statement.
A further $50,000 will be available to people whose homes or vehicles need to be modified as a result of their injury or who require any other additional support.
“The injured person’s family may incur ongoing short-term costs such as increased transport costs associated with treatment, ongoing medical expenses and rehabilitation care costs,” Mr Landy said.
Each payment will be determined on a case by case basis and will be overseen by the Department of Human Services, in consultation with medical staff or rehabilitation advisers.
Victorian Premier John Brumby says today’s announcement takes total allocations from the fund to more than $235 million.
“Today’s announcement again is about helping those who have been so seriously affected by the fires and making sure that they can get immediate relief and help through the years ahead as they fully recover from their injuries,” he said.
The Victorian Bushfire Appeal closed on Friday 17 April, with $312 million raised.
Mr Brumby has indicated he is open to increasing funding to the Alfred Hospital, after visiting victims of the bushfires at its burns unit today.
He says there is a need for more investment in the burns unit.
“I’d be hopeful that given the wonderful work that’s being done here and given the continuing need we have for what is a world-class facility, that we might be able to provide some more support for the Alfred in future,” he said.