Help available for those affected by bushfires

Staff member

The Department of Health and Human Services is urging people needing help following Tasmania's bushfires to contact their local refuge centre.

Acting DHHS Secretary Michael Pervan said a number of refuge centres had been set up to help people in need of accommodation or other services.

Mr Pervan said the agency was providing emergency accommodation, financial payments, counselling, food and medical services.

"In medical emergencies, Ambulance Tasmania continues to operate normal emergency services through the Triple Zero number," Mr Pervan said.

"Thousands of people have been displaced temporarily and we are working with other emergency services through our refuge centres to help in this difficult time.

"In addition to refuge centres, community health centres are available at Nubeena, Sorell and Ouse to help people with their normal medical conditions."

Tasmanian Health Organisation - South (THO-South) has community social workers at community health centres in Sorell and Nubeena for people to visit for counselling, advice and support.

People can use the community health centres as their first point of contact for minor health issues.

THO-South has sent food, bedding and extra medical supplies to Nubeena this morning via police launch. Other refuge centres are also obtaining supplies.

The THO-South food services department is setting up an onsite kitchen in Hamilton to feed fire fighters.

Meanwhile, Children and Youth Services (CYS) have contacted foster carers in the bushfire affected areas to check on the safety of children in their care. All children are reported safe.

The Southern Recovery Committee with affected local councils has set up three emergency refuge centres - Sorell Hall, Cole Street, Sorell, the Civic Centre, Nubeena and the Hobart City Hall, Macquarie St - to cater for people evacuated from the peninsula.

CYS will provide needs-assessed emergency relief payments to permanent residents of Tasmania.

Housing Tasmania is providing emergency accommodation for people affected by bushfires.

It is appealing for established accommodation providers in the greater Hobart area with room to house families of between four and eight people for up to two nights to contact on 6233 8829.

 For more information, including addresses of recovery centres, visit www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/emergency_info

 

5 January 2013