Pic credit: Mark Bourke/ 13 Feb 2024/ ABC News
The storms that caused significant damage and disruption throughout several areas of Melbourne yesterday saw almost half a million homes with no power and caused damage to roads, homes and infrastructure. ECLC is deeply concerned for the community in various areas particularly in the Yarra Ranges that are still without power. ECLC’s Yarra Ranges office is currently closed for safety reasons.
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 exacerbated by the impact of the storms. 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. The Orange Door is the access point for local family violence services 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 all of our local councils 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.
The Disaster Recovery Legal Help Check can be downloaded below. Please call 1300 325 200 or complete our Appointment Request Form to find out how we can help.
Download: ECLC Disaster Recovery Legal Help Check