The scenes of flooding across western Melbourne and northern Victoria are heart-wrenching.
My heart goes out to those affected, and I would like to once again thank our hard-working SES volunteers and other emergency personnel for all their vital work. I also commend those Victorians who are simply helping their family, friends and neighbours in this time of need.
The emergency funds provided to help affected families are welcome, and we also support the use of the Mickleham facility as emergency accommodation.
Declaring a natural disaster for affected local government areas would unlock the additional State and Federal Government support that Victorians need, including potentially community, small business and primary producer clean-up grants and recovery funds, as well as low-interest loans.
A delay in a declaration is a delay in essential support, and Victorians need help now.
Affected Victorian families, small businesses and communities deserve certainty of future support and I urge the State Government to make a natural disaster declaration for affected communities.