Financial aid available for tornado zoneFriday April 19, 2013 - 09:09 EST
Financial assistance has been made available to Victorian farmers, businesses and charities in ten local government areas affected by fires and tornadoes last month.
Low-interest loans of up to $200,000 from the federal and state governments can be accessed through the Rural Finance Corporation.
At least 20 people were taken to hospital and homes were damaged and destroyed when the tornado, with peak winds of 250 kilometres an hour, hit the area on March 19.
There was considerable damage in the towns of Koonoomoo, near Cobram and Bundalong, on Lake Mulwala.
Moira Shire Mayor Brian Keenan says help for those communities will be welcomed.
"I think that would give them both a physical benefit but also a great psychological boost, because quite a lot of them have got losses far in excess of that for which they were insured," he said.
Strathbogie Shire Mayor, Debra Swan, says her community has been hard hit.
"We've got a lot of farmers here and it's not only been from the fires, we've had flooding rains, we've had the tornado, and we've also had an extremely dry season,
"People are starting to struggle and it's taking its toll.
"Any assistance we can receive would be fantastic."
© ABC 2013
More breaking news
Major flooding in central west NSW has prompted concerns about large economic losses, with roads being cut off and widespread damage to crops from the deluge of water.
An evacuation order has been issued for residents of Forbes in central-western New South Wales, but the State Emergency Service (SES) is concerned some people are choosing to leave their homes late.
Residents of Forbes have been packing up and leaving their homes, in what for some is an eerily familiar situation.