November Fires 2019

The Disaster Welfare Assistance Line is currently open seven days a week

1800 018 444

8:30am - 4:30pm 

Evacuation Centres OPEN

9 December

Shoalhaven LGA

  • Ulladulla Civic Centre (open until further notice), 81B Princes Hwy, Ulladulla NSW 2539


Eurobodalla LGA

  • Mackay Park Sports and Function Centre (open until further notice), Off Princes Highway, Batemans Bay NSW 2536


Cessnock LGA

  • Cessnock Leagues Club (open until further notice), 1 Darwin St, Cessnock NSW 2325


Disaster Welfare Assistance Points (DWAPs) offer help for affected people with their immediate needs.

You can access:

  • Disaster Relief Grants and assessments
  • Red Cross
  • Disaster Recovery Chaplains
  • Salvation Army
  • Anglicare and more.

OPEN - Monday to Friday

Kempsey – 60 Smith Street, Kempsey, 9am – 5pm


Glen Innes - 181 Bourke Street, Glen Innes, 9am - 5pm


Taree - 68 Wynter Street, Taree, 9am - 5pm


Grafton - Victoria Street, Grafton, 9am - 5pm


Assistance points are the bases for support with Mobile Recovery Teams visiting and connecting with communities around affected areas.


If you can't visit the assistance point, please call the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444 (8:30am - 4:30pm)


Small Business Grants

Grants of up to $15,000 are available if your business has been directly affected by bush fire.

Applications can be made to the Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit for eligibility criteria.


Primary Producer Grants

Grants of up to $15,000 are available for bush fire affected primary producers. 

Applications can be made to the Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit for eligibility criteria.

Local Government Areas this applies to:

  • Armidale Regional

  • Ballina

  • Bellingen

  • Byron

  • Clarence Valley

  • Coffs Harbour

  • Glen Innes Severn

  • Inverell

  • Kempsey

  • Kyogle

  • Lismore

  • Mid-Coast

  • Nambucca

  • Port Macquarie-Hastings

  • Richmond Valley

  • Tenterfield

  • Tweed

  • Walcha



Clean-up Assistance

If your property is insured, please contact your insurer about clean-up. 

If you are uninsured and your home has been damaged or destroyed, Public Works Advisory will arrange for the clean-up of your residence and immediately adjacent outbuildings, including the removal of concrete slabs. 

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

The Insurance Council of Australia can be contacted with any questions, complaints or concerns about insurance on 1800 734 621.


General advice

  • Please avoid areas where bushfires are occurring. Stay off the road; don’t travel unless you need to.
  • Report unattended fires or suspicious activity immediately to Triple Zero (000) and follow the advice of authorities.
  • Residents need to read all warnings in full to ensure they stay up-to-date with the latest information - this includes evacuation routes and evacuation centres.
  • Areas closed off due to the bushfire emergency will reopen when it is safe to do so.
  • Bushfires can topple trees and power lines and leave debris strewn across the landscape, posing a significant health and safety risk.
  • People returning home need to be mindful of hazards even after a bushfire has been extinguished.

Mental health

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

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger call 000.

Free face-to-face support

The following free services are available to people impacted by fires and drought.

  • Hunter / New England – Healthwise 1800 931 540
  • North Coast - Connect to Wellbeing 1300 160 339


Are you insured?

If you are insured talk to your insurance company as soon as possible about how to make a claim.

Take photos or video of damage to your property and possessions as evidence for your claim.

If you have clearance from your insurer and evidence for your claim, you can start cleaning up.

The Insurance Council of Australia can be contacted with any questions, complaints or concerns about insurance on
1800 734 621.


If you are not insured and have limited income, you may be eligible for a disaster relief grant. Contact the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444.

Legal Assistance

Legal Aid NSW lawyers can provide free legal advice and assistance to people affected by disasters on a range of issues including:

  • insurance policies
  • tenancy or employment
  • credit and debt issues

Visit or call 1800 801 529


Support for Individuals

Disaster Relief Grants

If you are not insured and have limited income, you may be eligible for a disaster relief grant.

Please call Disaster Welfare on 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.

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

Contact the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444.


Disaster Recovery Payment

The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment has been activated for people severely affected by the NSW Bush Fires.

This provides a one-off payment of $1000 per adult and $400 per child if your home has been destroyed or severely damaged – including smoke damage.

Call 180 2266 to apply.


Disaster Recovery Allowance

The Disaster Recovery Allowance has been activated by the Australian Government for people affected by the NSW Bush Fires.

This provides short term support payment to assist those whose income has been affected as a direct result of the bush fires.

Call 180 2266 or visit


Housing Assistance

Housing Assistance

In NSW, social housing providers can provide support and assistance to people who are affected as a direct result of natural disasters such as fires, floods and severe storms.

What types of service are available?

Social housing providers in NSW can assist affected people with access to products such as:

Temporary Accommodation – time limited accommodation for clients who are experiencing immediate homeless

Emergency Temporary Accommodation – short-term temporary housing for up to 3 months for clients in urgent need of housing because of natural disaster [who would not normally be eligible for social housing]

Rentstart Bond loan – an interest-free loan to assist eligible clients pay a rental bond for a tenancy

Housing Assistance – a range of housing assistance products and services [including the above] that a person may be eligible for.


Where to go for help during business hours

During regular business hours 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday, visit any social housing provider.

A list of social housing providers can be found at


Where to get help after hours

The Department of Communities and Justice Housing Contact Centre (HCC) operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The HCC can assist people with

• Temporary accommodation

• General housing enquiries

• Applications for housing assistance


Important numbers

Link2Home - 1800 152 152

For temporary accommodation – this information and referral service is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

DCJ Housing Contact Centre 1800 422 322

Available 24/7, 365 days a year.


Replacing personal documents

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.

For assistance please visit your nearest NSW Service centre, or call 13 77 88



Animal Welfare

Local Land Services is assisting with emergency fodder, stock water and assessment of animals impacted by the fire.

Landholders are encouraged to call the Agriculture and Animal Hotline to request assistance or report any stock losses.

Animal & Agriculture Hotline: 1800 814 647

Starting your clean-up

Houses, sheds and other buildings that have been burnt in a bush fire can leave potential health and safety hazards in the remaining rubble and ash.

Hazardous household materials that may be present after a bush fire include asbestos, ash from burnt treated timbers (i.e. copper chrome arsenate or CCA), medicines, garden or farm chemicals, other household chemicals and cleaning products, damaged gas bottles, metal and other residues from burnt household appliances as well as ash and dusts.

Other hazards may include unsafe building structures, electrical hazards or missing fencing panels around pools. When returning to your property after a bushfire, consider the following precautions to protect your health:

Plaase do not enter your property until you are advised that it is safe to do so.

  • Electrical hazards could exist such as live power lines that may be down or active solar panels.
  • Buildings and other structures may be unstable to enter or walk over.
  • Sewerage services may be disrupted causing health risks.
  • Be aware that hot, smouldering coals and other potentially hazardous materials may be hidden under the rubble.
  • Building rubble should not be buried as it may contain hazardous materials.
  • Don’t spread ash around your property, particularly if asbestos materials were used in your home or other structures, or CCA-treated timber was burnt.
  • Moisten the ash with water to minimise dust and keep damp but do not use high pressure water sprays.
  • Wear a P2 face mask and protective clothing



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