Gippsland › Latest news › Baw Baw Local News

Baw Baw Shire Council remains committed to assisting significantly affected residents of February 2024 storms

The February 13 storm significantly impacted Baw Baw Shire. Community events, waste disposal services, relief funds, and support facilities are available. Council is actively addressing road blockages and facility damages.

By news@gippsland - 19th February 2024 - Back to News

The storm event on Tuesday 13 February has had a big impact on residents and towns in the Baw Baw Shire, and council will continue to work with those who have been affected. Click the dropdowns below for the latest information and supports available for impacted residents. Council will continue to provide updates to the community as the situation across the Shire changes.

Baw Baw Shire Council also offers free green waste disposal and extends the opportunity to dispose of household waste for storm-affected residents

Baw Baw Shire Council also offers free green waste disposal and extends the opportunity to dispose of household waste for storm-affected residents

Community events

Baw Baw Shire Council will host three community events across the Shire following the significant storm event that occurred last Tuesday.

  • Tuesday 20 February: Trafalgar IGA carpark, 5 McCrorey St, TRAFALGAR
  • Wednesday 21 February: Yarragon BBQ Picnic Area, Princes Highway, YARRAGON
  • Thursday 22 February: Neerim South Playground, 150 Main Neerim Rd, NEERIM SOUTH (Corner Main Neerim Road & Neerim E Road).
  • Details: All community information sessions will run from 5.00pm - 7.00pm

These pop-up events will be a chance for the community to speak with council officers and allow us to better understand the impact from the storms, and how we can best assist. Representatives from the Victorian council of Churches Emergency Ministries will also be in attendance. Please spread the word to your neighbours, family and friends and anyone you think may benefit from coming along. A free sausage sizzle will also be provided.

Community support open to storm-affected Baw Baw Shire residents. Bring ID, proof of address. Contractors: provide written authorization. Expect transfer station delays

Community support open to storm-affected Baw Baw Shire residents. Bring ID, proof of address. Contractors: provide written authorization. Expect transfer station delays

Green waste and food disposal

To support the community with the impacts of the 13 February storm event, Baw Baw Shire Council will offer storm affected residents the opportunity to dispose of acceptable green waste - free of charge. The previous limit imposed has now been removed, and commercial contractors disposing of green waste on behalf of storm affected residents can also drop off at the Transfer stations for free.

Residents who have been impacted by loss of power for an extended period of time and do not have capacity to dispose of food spoils in their existing waste service may also dispose of up to 2 x 80L garbage bags of general household waste at the transfer stations - free of charge.

Transfer station services

The above will be accepted at all four transfer stations across the Shire from Friday 16 February until Sunday 25 February 2024. Please note, standard Transfer Station opening times apply.

  • Trafalgar Transfer Station - Sat to Mon: 10.00am to 4.00pm
  • Erica Transfer Station - Mon, Wed, Sun: 12.00pm to 4.00pm
  • Lardner Transfer Station - Every day: 10.00am to 4.00pm
  • Neerim South Transfer Station - Fri and Sun: 10.00am to 4.00pm

Acceptable green waste includes tree debris, branches, foliage and general green waste. Maximum size limit for a large branch is 30cm round and 1m long. No large tree stumps will be accepted.

Due to site access restrictions, waste must be delivered in residential vehicles and trailers. This support for the community is open to all Baw Baw Shire residents who have been impacted by the storm event, whether they are the property owner or a tenant. To assist council in recovering costs through any disaster recovery funding arrangements made available, people are asked to bring a driver's licence, plus a rates notice or utility bill showing their address.

Contractors are asked to provide written evidence from the resident that they are acting on their behalf. Residents are asked to please be patient as the transfer stations will be busier than usual.

Teams restore power, clear vegetation, replace poles, mend power lines. Keep safe; avoid fallen power lines, call emergency number

Teams restore power, clear vegetation, replace poles, mend power lines. Keep safe, avoid fallen power lines, call emergency number

Gippsland emergency relief

The Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund has launched an appeal to raise funds to support Gippsland residents impacted by the current storm emergency. Donations to the appeal can be easily made via the GERF website and all donations over $2.00 are tax deductible.

Every dollar donated to the appeal is distributed to those affected by the storm and individuals. Your donation will be helping us to help others in their time of need. The Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund has been supporting Gippsland residents impacted by natural disaster since 1978 and is run completely by volunteers.

Relief payments for residents

The Victorian Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH) Personal Hardship Assistance Program (PHAP) relief payments are available for eligible community members whose homes have been damaged by the storms in Victoria. You are eligible for a relief payment if:

  • Your principal place of residence is in an evacuation warning area, or storms have damaged your home
  • You have unmet immediate relief needs

If you think you may be eligible for a relief payment, please call the Vic Recovery Hotline: 1800 560 760 (Press 9 for an interpreter if needed). Please note that these payments are not available for people who are experiencing power outages alone. If you have experienced power outage for seven days or more, you may be eligible for a Prolonged Power Outage Payment. See the dropdown tab below for more information.

Prolonged power outages

The Victorian and Australian Governments will make available a Prolonged Power Outage Payment to households and small businesses without power for 7 days as a result of last Tuesday's storms. A payment of $1,920 per week will be extended to all eligible households (residential customers) that remain without power as of 12:01 am Tuesday 20 February 2024.

Households who may be eligible will be proactively notified by their distribution business. Funding will be allocated through a payment application process, by which residential customers will be invited to apply for the payment. The payment will be administered by distribution businesses and will help families buy much-needed basic items and find alternative accommodation to get through this difficult period.

For small businesses (those with a Victorian payroll less than $10 million a year) who are affected, payments of $2,927 per week will be made. Payments for households and businesses will be available for up to 3 weeks.

Warragul Leisure Centre open for storm-affected individuals: showers (bring toiletries, towels), device charging, WiFi. Usual hours apply for accessibility

Warragul Leisure Centre open for storm-affected individuals: showers (bring toiletries, towels), device charging, WiFi. Usual hours apply for accessibility

Power outage tracking

Distribution businesses will proactively message impacted customers, and publish information on their website on eligibility criteria, as well as information on how these payments will be applied. For more information about the Prolonged Power Outage Payment program, please visit the Victorian Government webpage.

We are aware of the huge imposition that the loss of power is causing our residents and encourage people to view the Ausnet power tracker for the latest updates. Although the interactive map is not currently available, they are providing a list of suburbs and estimated time of assessment or power restoration. Please visit Power Outage Tracker website.

Showers, device and WIFI

The Warragul Leisure Centre is open for those who have been affected by the storm. Here people can use showers (please bring your own toiletries and towels), charge their devices, and access WIFI. For those who need it, the Leisure Centre will be accessible during its usual hours of operation, which are:

  • Monday - Thursday: 6.00am - 8.30pm
  • Friday: 6.00am - 7.00pm
  • Saturday - Sunday: 8.00am - 7.00pm

In Thorpdale, four portable showers have been installed at the Thorpdale Public Hall for any residents who need them. In Trafalgar, the showers and toilets in the Turra Pavilion umpire changerooms will be available for the community to use on Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 8am to 6pm. Portable showers are also being considered for other locations and more information will be available soon.

The Drouin, Neerim South and Warragul Myli Library locations also have their doors open for people to come in and access the free WIFI, or to charge their devices. The library opening hours are below:

Drouin Library

  • Monday to Friday: 9.30am - 5.30pm
  • Saturday: 9.30am - 12.00pm

Neerim South Library

  • Friday: 1.00pm - 5.00pm
  • Saturday: 10.00am - 12.00pm

Warragul Library

  • Monday: 9.30am - 6.00pm
  • Tuesday and Wednesday: 9.30am - 7.00pm
  • Thursday and Friday: 9.30am - 6.00pm
  • Saturday: 9.00am - 1.00pm

Conserve water

Gippsland Water has urged Thorpdale residents to put off any non-essential water use. This is due to a power outage which is impacting capabilities at Thorpdale pump station. You can find out more by visiting Gippsland Water website.

Four portable showers have been organised and are located at the Thorpdale Public Hall. Those who use these are reminded to pack their own toiletries and towels. Latrobe City Council has also made shower facilities available at the Churchill Leisure Centre.

Thorpdale Pop-up BBQ and Information Session - Sat 17 February

Baw Baw Shire Council hosted a pop-up information session and BBQ from 9.00am to 1.00pm on Saturday 17 February at the Thorpdale Community Hall, this was to meet with residents and hear how the storm has impacted them, and how council can best assist.

Blocked roads

Council officers and contractors are actively working to clear any blocked road across the Shire, however unfortunately, progress is being hindered by the presence of downed power lines. When council comes across these hazards, the protocol is to report these to Ausnet and close the affected roads for safety reasons. A list of blocked roads that council is currently aware of includes:

  • Hanns Lane, Yarragon
  • Mirboo Yarragon Road, Allambee Reserve

Due to limited network availability, council crews are unable to utilise their usual programs and systems for logging jobs. As a result, the process of collating data is slower than usual.

Reporting and recovery

For farmers who have been impacted by the fires and storms and have urgent animal welfare needs, please contact Agriculture Victoria on 1800 226 226.

Self-reporting agricultural impacts

The information you provide when reporting agricultural impacts is used to help the government understand the scale and impacts of a particular natural disaster, including the delivery of appropriate recovery efforts and support.

For reporting agricultural impacts from the 13 February fires and storms, visit MAX External ( website.

Agricultural recovery technical support

If you would like technical assistance, please contact the Agriculture Recovery team on 0427 694 185 or at
If leaving a message please provide a contact name, phone number and locality with a brief statement about the nature of your concern.

Pictures from Baw Baw Shire Council website.


Published by:

Edit this news article

Baw Baw Bass Coast Cardinia East Gippsland Latrobe City South Gippsland Wellington
© 2001-2024 Print this page | Subscribe to Newsletter | Feedback / Inquiries | Login
Care has been taken in compiling the component parts of this website. However, does not warrant or represent that the website is free from errors or omissions, that the qualifications claimed by an advertiser are valid or that the published details of any advertiser are as stated on the website. Please review the full statement of our Terms and Conditions of Service and disclaimer.