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Bushfire Emergency Information

Updated 4/12/2019 at 12.45pm.

Fire Recovery Information

Support services and recovery advice is available from the key agencies listed below:

  • NSW Office of Emergency Management website: emergency.nsw.gov.au
  • Disaster Welfare Assistance Line - 8:30am - 4:30pm: 1800 018 444

The next Community Recovery Update meeting and BBQ will be held on Monday 16 December at Wauchope Showground.

  • 5:00pm - 6:00pm - Free BBQ
  • 6:00pm - 7:00pm - Community Meeting

Representatives from Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, key disaster management, welfare and advisory agencies will be in attendance to provide updates and will be available to answer questions.

Disaster relief for individuals

Australian Government - Disaster Recovery Allowance - Call 180 2266 or visit humanservices.gov.au
This allowance provides a short term support payment to assist people whose income has been affected as a direct result of the bushfires.   

Australian Government - Disaster Recovery Payment - Call 180 2266 or visit disasterassist.gov.au
If your home has been damaged by smoke - including your clothes, furniture or carpets - you may be eligible for this payment. 

NSW Government - Disaster Relief Grants - Call 1800 018 444
Grants are available for eligible individuals and families whose homes and essential household contents have been damaged or destroyed by a natural disaster.

Replacing personal documents - Visit your nearest Service NSW centre or call 13 77 88.
Service NSW can help replace many of your personal documents free of charge if they were damaged or destroyed. This includes birth certificates, marriage certificates, licences and number plates. 

Legal assistance - Call 5525 1600 (Port Macquarie office) or visit legalaid.nsw.gov.au
Legal Aid NSW can provide free legal advice and minor assistance to people affected by disasters on a range of issues, including insurance, tenancy, credit and debt problems. 

Salvation Army - Call 1300 662 217
Support is available for those who have lost their homes or lost the means of earning their income. You can also email sal.disasters@salvationarmy.org.au

Disaster relief for landholders

Rural Resilience Program - Call Peter Brown (Taree office) 0437 671 459.
This program can provide support by way of referrals, liaising with other services and delivering initiatives tailored to the particular need of the community.

Primary Producer Grants - Call the Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593.
Grants of up to $15,000 are available for bushfire affected primary producers. Eligibility criteria apply. Applications can be made to the Rural Assistance Authority. Find out more at www.raa.nsw.gov.au/disaster-assistance/disaster-recovery-grants

Animal welfare - Call the Agriculture and Animal Services Hotline on 1800 814 647.
Local Land Services can assist with: Emergency fodder, Stock water, Assessment of animals impacted by the fire. Landholders are also encouraged report damage to property, including any stock losses. Visit www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/rrp

NSW Rural Assistance Authority -  Call 1800 678 593.
Disaster relief low interest loans of up to $130,000 are available to eligible primary producers and small businesses, and transport subsidies of up to 50% of the cost to transport livestock or fodder, to eligible primary producers.

Small business support

Small Business Grants - Call the Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit www.raa.nsw.gov.au 
Grants of up to $15,000 are available if your business has been directly affected by bushfire. Eligibility criteria apply. Applications can be made to the Rural Assistance Authority (RAA). 

Business Connect - Call 1300 134 359 or register at industry.nsw.gov.au/businessconnect 
A free mobile advisory service is available to small businesses. A local 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.

Dispute Resolution Service - Call 1300 795 534 or visit smallbusiness.nsw.gov.au/dispute-resolution
A confidential and free dispute resolution service has been set up to help small businesses needing assistance to work through problems with other businesses or government. 

General information for Regional NSW
Information, advice and assistance is available for people managing a business, including business tools to analyse profitability and prepare for export. Call (02) 6760 2670 or visit nsw.gov.au/improving-nsw/regional-nsw

Communications Guide for local businesses still open for business
This communications guide has been provided for the tourism industry operators within Port Macquarie-Hastings to provide advice on communicating to visitors that they are still open for business. View the  communications guide here297KB pdf(PDF, 297KB)

Housing assistance

Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) Housing can offer temporary accommodation, as well as interest-free bond loans and advance rent to eligible fire-impacted residents. 
Call the Housing Contact Centre on 1800 422 322 (available 24/7) for more information.

Local housing assistance - Community Housing Limited 1300 245 468 
Level 1, 16 Clarence Street
(PO Box 837)
Port Macquarie NSW 2444

Insurance Assistance

If your property is insured, continue to work with your insurer on the clean-up. If you have concerns about your insurer, contact the Insurance Council of Australia on 1800 734 621.

If you are uninsured, contact Public Works Advisory on 1800 88 55 39 to discuss the clean-up. 

You can also call the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444.

Community recovery information newsletters

The below newsletters are being distributed by the NSW Office of Emergency Management and contain vital information on clean up assistance, insurance assistance, grants information, points of contact for loss and damage to property. Click the newsletter to download.

Additional Information

Council is continuing to support the Emergency Services agencies and Rural Fire Service (RFS) who are leading the bushfire control effort. It’s important that you access emergency information straight from the source.  Below are the key organisations and contact details to help you do this.

The Rural Fire Service is providing regular updates via:

Waste service changes or disruptions

Please refer to the attached  waste services fact sheet335KB pdf(PDF, 335KB) regarding your waste service.

If you have missed a bin pick-up due to road closures / access issues: 

  • Contact JR Richards on 1300 787 223
  • If you need to dispose of green waste:

  • Please continue to use your green bin, or if you have excess green waste it can be taken to your nearest waste transfer station if safe to do so. (Charges apply)

Using water during the bushfires

We are currently in Level 3 water restrictions, however water use is allowed if for the protection of property. If you do need to leave your home and have filled your gutters, please ensure that all taps are turned off before you leave. At all other times, if it’s not essential, please conserve our water. It may be needed for fire fighting efforts. 

 

Maintaining your health

The following free services are available to people impacted by fires and drought. No GP referral is needed.

  • Northern NSW - Connect to Wellbeing on 1300 160 339

It’s completely normal to experience a range of emotions after a fire, including anxiety, forgetfulness, sleep disturbance and more. Having someone to listen to and support you through this is very important. Check in on your friends and neighbours, and if you or someone you know needs help, reach out. The following are free services available 24 hours a day, seven days a week: 

  • Mental Health Line – 1800 011 511 
  • Lifeline – 13 11 14 
  • Mensline – 1300 789 978 
  • Kids Helpline – 1800 55 1800 
  • Beyondblue – 1300 22 4636  
  • Healthy Minds - 1300 16 339

Please check the information provided from NSW Health website regarding emergency assistance, air quality and smoke irritations, treating burns and drinking water.

If you have concerns or questions regarding the use of fire retardants near your property, please refer to this  factsheet212KB pdf(PDF, 212KB) issued by NSW Rural Fire Service. 

Managing native vegetation to prepare for a bushfire

For  advice and support on land management, call Local Land Services on 1300 795 299 or find land management fact sheets online at lls.nsw.gov.au 

This page was last updated on: 05 December 2019