​Bushfire assistance for NSW communities affected by September 2017 bushfires

25 January 2018

Minister for Law Enforcement and Cybersecurity Angus Taylor and New South Wales Minister for Emergency Services Troy Grant today announced disaster assistance was available in response to bushfires that affected the Mid Coast, Port Macquarie-Hastings, Dungog and Upper Hunter areas from late September 2017 onwards.

Mr Taylor said the assistance was being provided through the jointly-funded Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).

"This funding demonstrates the ongoing commitment of the Australian and NSW governments to support communities affected by bushfires," Mr Taylor said.

“In this case, assistance is in the wake of bushfires including the Belbora, Innes View, Chichester Dam, Main Creek Road and Mount Helen fires, which combined destroyed thousands of hectares of land and several homes and buildings.”

Mr Grant said the assistance would help cover the cost of fighting the bushfires and ensure affected councils could repair damage to essential public infrastructure.

“Five bushfires hit four neighbouring areas at the same time, early in the season. We want to ensure these communities get back on their feet,” Mr Grant said.

“This assistance will help the Mid Coast, Dungog, Port Macquarie-Hastings and Upper Hunter communities rebuild and repair their local infrastructure.”

The Belbora fire – Mid Coast LGA – burnt more than 1,703 hectares mostly in privately held land. The fire threatened rural properties and destroyed a number of outbuildings and storage facilities.

The Innes View fire – Port Macquarie-Hastings LGA – burnt more than 1,780 hectares mostly in privately held land. The fire threatened rural properties, destroyed two homes, numerous outbuildings and forced road closures.

The Chichester Dam fire – Dungog LGA – burnt more than 858 hectares, including 249 hectares of private land and threatened rural properties and water catchments.

The Main Creek Road fire – Dungog LGA – burnt more than 32 hectares of private land and threatened rural properties.

The Mount Helen fire – Upper Hunter LGA – burnt more than 1,311 hectares of private land and threatened rural properties and communications infrastructure.

Assistance available under the NDRRA may include:

  • help for eligible people whose homes or belongings have been damaged
  • support for affected local councils to help with the costs of cleaning up and
  • restoring damaged essential public assets
  • concessional interest rate loans for small businesses, primary producers and
  • non-profit organisations
  • freight subsidies for primary producers, and
  • grants to eligible non-profit organisations.

Further information is available at Disaster Assist and the Office of Emergency Management.