The rain has eased but the emergency has not ended.
Our thoughts are with those affected, and our sincere thanks to SES volunteers and other emergency services personnel.
The scenes of flooding in our state, reaching virtually into the middle of Melbourne, are devastating.
It is clear that affected communities, families and small businesses are going to need immediate emergency relief, as well as longer-term support to recover.
To that end, we are today calling on the Victorian Government to immediately engage with the Australian Government with a view to declaring a natural disaster in affected local government areas.
This declaration will allow both the Victorian and Australian Governments to share the cost of financial support including immediate cash payments for short-term emergency accommodation, as well as low-interest loans in the longer term to help families and small businesses recover.
We are making this call in a bipartisan, non-political way and look forward to the Victorian and Australian Governments responding positively and quickly.