Bush Fire Assistance
The local community and NSW Government have a number of ways to help those affected in the recent bush fires. These are listed on this page or can be downloaded via the fact sheets below.
Community Assistance Newsletters & Fact Sheets
Issued by the NSW Office of Emergency Management, the below disaster assistance newsletters detail recovery information and assistance available for those affected by the recent bush fires.
|Northern NSW Bush Fire Assistance Community Recovery Newsletters & Fact Sheets|
|A fact sheet detailing information on waste management for metals, chemicals, car batteries, vehicles and machinery, whitegoods, treated timber, food and green waste.|
|Solar Photovoltaic (PV), or solar panels, are manufactured using hazardous materials, such as toxic metals, sulfuric acid and phosphine gas. They should be handled and disposed of with appropriate precautions and protective equipment for the hazardous material.|
|This information aims to assist property owners with post-impact advice related to Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders that have been damaged or potentially damaged by fire.|
|Copper chrome arsenate (CCA) is a wood preservative that is fixed into timber and used to protect wood from rotting, fungi and insects. Freshly treated CCA timber can be identified by its yellow/greenish colour which fades to grey over time. It is not always easy to identify if a product is CCA-treated timber and if in doubt it is important|
to treat the timber as if it does contain CCA.
|Includes information such as assistance available from the Red Cross, mental health, fencing, communities coming together and more.|
AREAS OF ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE
Financial Assistance from the Australian Government
New Disaster Relief Assistance
On 25 February the Australian Government announced additional disaster assistance for eligible people in the Local Government Areas of Armidale, Inverell, Kyogle, Tamworth and Tenterfield. It includes:
1. Australian Government Disaster Relief Payment (AGDRP)
The AGDRP is a one-off payment for eligible people who have been significantly affected by a disaster e.g. you have been seriously injured or the house you live in has been damaged or destroyed. It is not for minor damage or inconvenience.
If you’re eligible you’ll receive:
- > $1,000 per adult
- > $400 per child under 16 years old
2. Disaster Relief Allowance (DRA)
The DRA is a short term payment to help you if you have lost income as a direct result of a disaster. You can get this payment for a maximum of 13 weeks and it is payable from the date you lose income as a direct result of the fires.
To be eligible you will need work or live in one of the affected areas and provide evidence of your income loss. For more info on either payment or to check your eligibility call the Commonwealth Department of Human Services: 180 22 66 or visit: www.humanservices.gov.au/disaster
For more information or to make a claim visit www.humanservices.gov.au/disaster or call 180 22 66. The hotline will be open business hours 8 am to 5 pm from 25 February 2019.
Health and Wellbeing
Bush fires are distressing and you might feel sadness or anxiety, or have trouble sleeping or remembering things. This is a normal reaction and it is not a sign of weakness.
Having someone to listen and support you at times like this is important. Some tips on managing your recovery include:
- > Spend time with family and friends
- > Try to get back in to a routine
- > Continue a healthy lifestyle (eating, sleeping, exercise)
- > Take time out but don’t isolate yourself
- > Write down your worries and concerns
- > Express your feelings in your own time and way
- > Accept help when it is offered
- > Limit the amount of media coverage you are exposed to
- > Don’t expect to have all the answers
- >Understand you are not alone in your experience
If you are struggling there are people you can talk to, like your local GP or health care provider.
Mental Health Line: 1800 051 511
Lifeline Crisis Support: 13 11 14
MensLine: 1300 789 978
Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800
Beyondblue: 1300 22 4636
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger please call 000.
Are you insured?
If you are insured, you should talk to your insurance company as soon as possible about how to make a claim. If you have clearance, you can start cleaning up immediately but first take pictures or video of any damage to your property and possessions as evidence for your claim.
The Insurance Council of Australia can be contacted with any questions, complaints or concerns about our insurance on 1800 734 621.
If you are not insured and have limited income, you may be eligible for a disaster relief grant
Disaster Relief Grants for Individuals and Families
Disaster relief grants are for eligible individuals and families whose homes and essential household contents have been damaged or destroyed by a natural disaster.
To be eligible for this assistance you must:
> be a low-income earner and meet an income assets test
> demonstrate that the affected home is your principal place of residence
> not be covered by insurance
> demonstrate that the damage was caused by the disaster
> lodge the application within four months of the disaster occurring
Applying for a disaster relief grant: To apply for financial assistance call Disaster Welfare Services on 1800 018 444.
Disaster Relief for Farmers
A range of assistance measures are available to eligible farmers and primary producers impacted by fire, including:
- > Concessional fixed-rate loans up to $130,000
- > Transport subsidies for the carriage of livestock, fodder and water
For more information contact: NSW Rural Assistance Authority 1800 678 593 email@example.com
Legal Aid NSW helps people with their legal problems. Legal Aid NSW lawyers can provide free legal advice and minor assistance to people affected by disasters on a range of issues including insurance, tenancy and credit and debt
Legal Aid NSW: 1800 801 529 www.legalaid.nsw.gov.au
If you have been affected by the fire you don’t need to worry about your tax affairs right away.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will give you time to deal with your more immediate problems first and can help you to sort out your tax affairs later.
Depending on your circumstance, the following assistance may be available to you:
- > more time to lodge, pay and respond
- > early access to your money
- > assistance payments
- > help with damaged or destroyed property
- > reconstructing your tax records
- > fuel tax credits for individuals, businesses and others
Call the ATO for more information on 13 28 65.
Small Business Assistance
The NSW Government provides practical support to businesses affected by the fire.
Business Connect can provide you with two free independent and confidential business advice sessions. An advisor can meet you at a convenient place and discuss your business needs.
Advice is offered about managing cash flow, planning the next steps, accessing financial support schemes and connecting to additional support.
Call 1800 806 218
Motor Vehicle Assistance
Motorists whose cars have been written off as a result of a natural disaster may be eligible for a stamp duty refund on their replacement vehicle.
Contact the Office of State Revenue via the website www.osr.nsw.gov.au, or call Revenue NSW on 1300 139 814.
Update: BlazeAid camp to continue until 17 August, 2019.
Volunteers from across the nation will descend on Inverell this Thursday for an eight week Blaze Aid initiative to help farmers rebuild bushfire struck fences.
Inverell Shire Council mayor, Paul Harmon says the announcement follows the recent Tingha Plateau fire which burnt through more than 23,400 hectares of land, destroying 14 houses and 44 outbuildings.
“We know that hundreds of kilometres of farm fences have been lost in the fires, so Council certainly welcomes Blaze Aid’s arrival and has been working with the State Government and local organisations to establish the Blaze Aid camp at the Showground”.
“Blaze Aid is a registered charity which assists communities recovering from natural disasters by providing volunteer labour and assistance to those in need”.
To date, eighteen rural landholders have stepped forward to receive Blaze Aid assistance, however, Cr Harmon says landholders are still encouraged to add their name to the list and can do so by contacting council.
“The Blaze Aiders work alongside landholders to help rebuild fences and structures that have been damaged or destroyed in the bushfire and include retired tradespeople and farmers”.
“The volunteers come with all their own equipment and insurance and can also provide vouchers to purchase fencing materials”.
Cr Harmon says the camp is expected to inject hundreds of thousands of dollars into the Inverell economy through purchases of food, fencing equipment, services and fuel from locally owned businesses.
Blaze Aid expects up to 40 volunteers to be camped at the Inverell Showground at any one time, who will work in the field from 8am – 5pm each day, before returning to the camp site each night.
Blaze Aid is calling for local clubs, volunteer groups or businesses to sign up to participate on a roster to prepare an evening meal for Blaze Aid volunteers once each fortnight.
Organisations wishing to assist can contact Inverell Shire Council on 6728 8288.
Further information can also be found on the following webpages or hotlines.
Hon Barnaby Joyce MP Media Release: Disaster Recovery Payment announced for bushfires
MP Adam Marshall Media Release: Disaster assistance for Tingha bushfire affected families,
NSW Rural Assistance Authority: www.raa.nsw.gov.au or 1800 678 593
Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website: www.disasterassist.gov.au
Ag and Animal Services Hotline: 1800 814 647 – Landholders who need assistance with emergency fodder, livestock or domestic animal assessment should call the Ag and Animal Services Hotline on 1800 814 647.
Disaster Welfare Assistance Line: 1800 018 444 – For information on personal hardship and distress assistance, contact the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444.
Last modified 03-Jan-20