16 November, 2021

Financial assistance is now available for Victorian businesses affected by prolonged power outages following severe storms on 29 October.

Assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie said the Prolonged Power Outage Payment will help those businesses that remain without power or were without power for more than seven days.

“Financial support of $2,500 per week, for up to three weeks, has been extended to all eligible businesses without power,” Minister McKenzie said.

“We know that being without essential power is incredibly difficult, and we want to ensure businesses get the support that best suits their needs under these circumstances.

“The Australian Government is working closely with the Victorian Government and stands ready to provide further assistance as required.”

Victorian Minister for Emergency Services Jaclyn Symes said the Prolonged Power Outage Payment will support businesses through the financial hardship caused by the ongoing impact of the storms.

“This money will help businesses to pay wages, rent and other expenses employers need to keep operating,” Minister Symes said.

“We understand this has been a really stressful time for communities. The introduction of the Prolonged Power Outage Payment for businesses will take some of that stress and pressure off people as they recover.”

Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio said the business support payment is being provided in addition to the $1,680 per week Prolonged Power Outage Payment for impacted residential customers, also co-funded by the Australian Government.

“We know communities have done it tough due to power outages, which is why we are stepping in to make sure businesses, employers and impacted residents have the financial support they need to keep businesses going and begin the recovery work,” Minister D’Ambrosio said.

“Businesses with an annual payroll of less than $10 million can apply for $2,500 per week for up to three weeks if they were without power as of 12.01am Friday 5 November 2021.”

AusNet Services and United Energy will administer the Prolonged Power Outage Support Payment and contact eligible customers.

For more information on how to apply, AusNet Services customers can call 1300 561 171 or visit www.ausnetservices.com.au.

If your business is in a United Energy area, call 1300 783 882 or visit www.unitedenergy.com.au.

Information on disaster assistance is also available on the Australian Government’s website at www.disasterassist.gov.au.

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