Bushfire Recovery Wingecarribee

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Green Wattle Creek, Currowan and Morton Fires impacted the Wingecarribee Shire in late December 2019 and early 2020. This page aims to support our community through the recovery phase associated with these bushfires.

If you have been affected, there is a range of assistance for you. Council is working in partnership with emergency services, State and Federal government agencies, charities and others to deliver this assistance.

For detailed information about the assistance available please use the SEARCH TOOL at the top of the page, refer to the Frequently Asked Questions and links on this webpage or call Council's Bushfire Recovery Hotline 1800 316 500.



Recovery Support Services

If you have been affected by bushfires, Recovery Support Services will help you in your recovery journey by providing personalised, long-term support.

Community Links has been appointed as the recovery support service for the Wingecarribee area. They will link you to your own personalised recovery support worker, who can help you navigate and access services and disaster assistance packages.

Call 4683 2776 or email intake@communitylinks.org.au to be put in touch with a Recovery Support Officer who can:

  • Provide relevant information about the range of assistance and services available
  • Help you work out what needs to be done and develop an action plan
  • Connect you with the services required and assist in coordinating these
  • Assist with referral and application processes for services needed
  • Facilitate meetings between you and relevant agencies
  • Assist with practicalities, such as dealing with insurance companies or replacing key documents.


Community Recovery Hub now closed

The hub which was operating from the Balmoral Village Hall has now closed with all donated goods moved to the Shoalhaven fire grounds. If you are in need of assistance please contact any of the following who can access donations via the GIVIT platform or locally:

  • Community Links recovery support service - call 4683 2776
  • Country Women's Association - Kerrie O'Grady (CWA Picton) on 0413 003 601 or Kim Hill on 0412 786 114
  • Bargo Men’s Shed - Tools both second hand and new all in good condition
  • Red Cross
  • Anglicare
  • Salvation Army
  • St Vincent De Paul
  • Lions

Updated 1 July 2020


Green Wattle Creek, Currowan and Morton Fires impacted the Wingecarribee Shire in late December 2019 and early 2020. This page aims to support our community through the recovery phase associated with these bushfires.

If you have been affected, there is a range of assistance for you. Council is working in partnership with emergency services, State and Federal government agencies, charities and others to deliver this assistance.

For detailed information about the assistance available please use the SEARCH TOOL at the top of the page, refer to the Frequently Asked Questions and links on this webpage or call Council's Bushfire Recovery Hotline 1800 316 500.



Recovery Support Services

If you have been affected by bushfires, Recovery Support Services will help you in your recovery journey by providing personalised, long-term support.

Community Links has been appointed as the recovery support service for the Wingecarribee area. They will link you to your own personalised recovery support worker, who can help you navigate and access services and disaster assistance packages.

Call 4683 2776 or email intake@communitylinks.org.au to be put in touch with a Recovery Support Officer who can:

  • Provide relevant information about the range of assistance and services available
  • Help you work out what needs to be done and develop an action plan
  • Connect you with the services required and assist in coordinating these
  • Assist with referral and application processes for services needed
  • Facilitate meetings between you and relevant agencies
  • Assist with practicalities, such as dealing with insurance companies or replacing key documents.


Community Recovery Hub now closed

The hub which was operating from the Balmoral Village Hall has now closed with all donated goods moved to the Shoalhaven fire grounds. If you are in need of assistance please contact any of the following who can access donations via the GIVIT platform or locally:

  • Community Links recovery support service - call 4683 2776
  • Country Women's Association - Kerrie O'Grady (CWA Picton) on 0413 003 601 or Kim Hill on 0412 786 114
  • Bargo Men’s Shed - Tools both second hand and new all in good condition
  • Red Cross
  • Anglicare
  • Salvation Army
  • St Vincent De Paul
  • Lions

Updated 1 July 2020


  • Council Social Recovery Small Grants

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    9 days ago

    The small grants program provides one off grants of up to $5,000 to not for profit community organisations and associations that are based in the Wingecarribee Local Government Area. The grants are designed to deliver a range of bushfire recovery focused projects.

    For more information, please visit Social Recovery Small Grants

  • Mental Health and Wellbeing

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    23 days ago

    Have you been affected by bushfire? Need some support to get back on track?

    It is normal to have strong emotional and/or physical reactions following a bushfire. You may feel this way if you were directly or indirectly affected.

    Last summer's devastating bushfires have had an enormous impact on many people. If you or your family have been impacted by bushfire - you can access support to get back on track.

    Talking to your GP about how you are feeling is a good place to start but there's also a wealth of information provided. Check out the following resources and services:

    The following are free services available 24 hours a day, seven days a week:

    • Mental Health Line – 1800 011 511
    • Lifeline Bushfire Recovery - 13 43 57
    • Mensline - 1300 789 978
    • Kids Helpline - 1800 55 1800
    • Beyond Blue - 1300 22 4636
    • ReFrame/You in Mind – 0455 104 104

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

  • $5 million boost for free legal help

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    about 1 month ago

    MEDIA RELEASE: 05 July 2020

    Farmers, small businesses and regional communities recovering from the worst bushfire season in living memory will benefit from close to $5 million in Commonwealth funding for NSW’s legal assistance services.

    Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for Disaster Recovery John Barilaro said free legal support is playing an important role in how well people, businesses and communities recover from disasters.

    “Bushfires have devastated the homes, businesses and livelihoods of so many people across our regions and now anyone facing legal problems as a result will have access to more free legal support than ever before,” Mr Barilaro said.

    “Almost $3 million in funding will be directed to legal assistance services for individuals navigating insurance claims, tenancy issues, financial hardship, social security entitlements and other legal problems caused by the bushfires.

    “A further $2 million will be invested in legal services for small businesses and primary producers. This will allow Legal Aid NSW to launch a new grants program, enabling private lawyers to access grants of aid to deliver free legal services to local businesses impacted by bushfires.”

    Attorney General Mark Speakman said the funding will boost the capacity of Legal Aid, Community Legal Centres and the Aboriginal Legal Service to support individuals in bushfire affected areas across the State.

    “This is great news for anyone whose livelihood has been torn apart by the bushfires. More pro bono solicitors and more legal assistance will be available for farmers and small businesses seeking assistance and advice on the financial issues they face, including credit, banking and debt,” Mr Speakman said.

    “From the South Coast, to the Snowy Valley, to the Southern Highlands and to the North and Mid-North Coasts – anyone facing legal problems as a result of the bushfires will have access to more free legal support than ever before.”

    Today’s $4.9 million Bushfire Funding Agreement is part of the Australian Government’s $2 billion response to the 2019-20 Bushfire Disaster over two years.

    The Agreement will deliver the following legal assistance supports:

    Individuals

    • Boost Legal Aid’s Disaster Response Legal Service to provide advice and referrals on issues including insurance claims, financial hardship, accommodation and CentreLink entitlements.
    • Additional staff at five generalist Community Legal Centres (CLCs) in bushfire affected communities and three specialist CLCs delivering services to bushfire affected individuals.
    • Increase the capacity of the Aboriginal Legal Service to provide its services to individuals in bushfire affected communities.

    Businesses and primary producers

    • Establish and promote a new grants policy for private practitioners to deliver legal services to small business and primary producers for bushfire related issues.
    • Extend Justice Connect’s pro bono platform to link small business and primary producers with pro bono services.
    • Support the Financial Rights Legal Centre to continue offering its services specialising in areas including consumer credit, banking, debt recovery and insurance to small business and primary producers.

  • BizRebuild

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    2 months ago

    BizRebuild are on the ground in bushfire affected regions providing immediate relief and acting on what communities tell us they need to rebuild.

    Their assistance is rapid, targeted and designed to make a difference for the long term.

    They have three main ways that they can assist affected communities:

    1. Getting businesses back on their feet

    We have a team of experts who can work with affected businesses to:

    • provide help with finance, regulation, planning and marketing
    • draw up business recovery plans
    • tap into local legal and accounting services and provide vouchers up to the value of $500 to help cover costs in drawing up business recovery plans
    • navigate the available government assistance and help cut through red tape
    • help fill in forms
    • help find jobs for displaced workers
    • match them with donated equipment to meet their specific needs
    • access mental health support services, and
    • connect businesses with long-term mentors from the large business community.

    We are also:

    • encouraging larger businesses and the broader community to buy fresh produce, goods and services from fire affected small businesses,
    • asking larger businesses to hold offsite meetings and conferences in bushfire affected areas,
    • having larger businesses commit to paying their bills and invoices ahead of time to help small businesses with cashflow, and
    • having larger businesses commit to waiving debts owed by small businesses.


    2. Replacing tools and equipment

    We can help by providing replacement tools, office equipment, laptops and other practical things lost in the fires that small businesses need to get back to work.

    We can give vouchers worth up to $2,000 per small business to replace equipment.


    3. Rebuilding community facilities

    We are organising pop-up malls so businesses destroyed by fire can start trading again while their permanent premises are rebuilt. This supports the local drivers of tourism and other industries.

    Repairing, rebuilding and constructing multi-purpose, world-class community facilities will ensure communities have access to thriving hubs of social and economic activity where they can come together, attract sporting, social and tourism events, and keep locals in town.

    We will help local tourism related businesses and industries market and promote themselves to encourage tourists to return.

    We will help local communities to encourage business, sporting and entertainment events to be held in their region.

    We will assist local businesses and industries to find markets for their produce, encouraging larger businesses to source produce from bushfire areas.

    For more information, please visit BizRebuild.

  • Recovery Support Service

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    2 months ago

    Community Links Wellbeing has been funded by Resilience NSW to provide a Recovery Support Service to support anyone who has been impacted by the 2019/2020 Bushfires. This includes people who lost property, but also those who were impacted in others ways.

    The Recovery Support Service is a personalised service assisting people across Wollondilly and Wingecarribee who have been affected by the bush fires or other emergency events. They can provide you with information, decision-making and recovery resources.

    Providing a flexible, customised service whether by phone, video call, or other online tools, locally based workers will support you via whatever technology you have available. The team will be working creatively to continue to stay connected with people in ways that protect their health and wellbeing. Where possible they can meet with you in person, following social distancing guidelines.

    We can help you move toward.....

    • Getting the right information
    • Working out your next steps ... and how to get there
    • Getting connected with the right services that can support your needs
    • Coordinating the services and supports you may already have in place
    • Feeling more hopeful about the path ahead

    How it Works

    The Recovery Support Service offers free support and information to individuals and households impacted by the bushfires across Wingecarribee and Wollondilly. The service is delivered by a team of local Bushfire Recovery Support Officers who are trained, local workers with skills in support work, case management or broader welfare work.

    An individual or household needing support is assigned a Recovery Support Officer with the skills and expertise to assess their needs.

    A Recovery Support Officer can:

    • Provide relevant information about the range of assistance and services available
    • Help you work out what needs to be done and develop an action plan
    • Connect you with the services required and assist in coordinating these
    • Assist with referral and application processes for services needed
    • Facilitate meetings between you and relevant agencies
    • Assist with practicalities, such as dealing with insurance companies or replacing key documents.

    The Recovery Support Service is a flexible system, ranging from facilitating self-access to information, to providing intensive support for individuals and households who may be temporarily unable to independently access the services they need for recovery. The focus is on empowering the individual.

    For further information, please contact 4683 2776 www.communitylinks.org.au or check find us on social media for regular updates.


  • Red Cross financial support

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    6 months ago

    Financial assistance is available for bushfire-affected people in financial hardship.

    The cash grants available are:

    • Emergency grant for people who have lost their homes.
    • Injury grant for people who were hospitalised due to the fires.
    • Primary residence repair grant for home owners whose homes have been structurally damaged. From 12 March 2020, eligibility has been extended to include destruction or damage to critical private water, septic and/or power infrastructure.
    • Re-establishment grant to help people who lost their primary place of residence – house, caravan or mobile home, whether owned or rented – to have somewhere safe to live.

    Applications for the emergency, injury and primary residence repair grants will be open until 30 June. Applications for the re-establishment grant will be open unti 31 August 2020.

    And there will be more assistance available for those facing severe hardship.

    Complete an online application form and learn more at www.redcross.org.au/get-help/emergencies/recovering-from-emergencies/grants#reestablishment.

  • Public Land Boundary Fencing Program

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    4 months ago

    The NSW Government has committed $209 million to help bushfire-affected landholders with the cost of rebuilding boundary fences adjoining public lands.

    Private landholders who share a boundary with public land and were impacted by the Northern and Southern fires of late 2019 and early 2020 are eligible to receive up to $5,000 per kilometre to contribute to the replacement of damaged boundary fences.

    Note that for the purposes of this grant, public lands includes:

    • National parks
    • Forestry Corporation land
    • Traveling stock reserves
    • Crown reserves, tenured roads and leases
    • Roads managed by Roads and Maritime Services or Local Government.

    Grants can be issued retrospectively to cover costs already incurred by landholders replacing fire damaged fencing where a boundary is shared with public lands.

    How can you apply?

    Please visit Local Land Services or call 1300 778 080 .

  • Media Release - Additional $140 Million for Bushfire affected industries

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    4 months ago

    Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman MP has welcomed the NSW Government's $140 Million Bushfire Industry Recovery Package to support forestry, horticulture and agriculture industries impacted by the recent bushfires.

    "The Goulburn electorate has felt the full devastation of bushfires and drought in recent times and this package will help industries significantly impacted by fires to rebuild and recover," Mrs Tuckerman said.

    "This funding will support the recovery and resilience of key industries by backing projects that retain and create jobs, strengthen local supply chains and support a return to production".

    "The Goulburn electorate is dependent on these industries to generate jobs and economic activity and this funding will provide the direct help many businesses need to recover from devastating losses, which will in turn benefit the wider community".

    "NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro said communities in the Goulburn electorate are the backbone of this state and it is critical to support the key regional industries, which keep our economy thriving".

    "Our farmers feed this State and this Nation, and not only have they endured the worst drought on record, but many have suffered horrific bushfires and are now facing the impacts of COVID-19", Mr Barilaro said.

    "Bushfire impacted towns cannot afford to suffer further job losses and economic downturn, which is why we are delivering this funding to keep regional industries in business".

    "Industries with the greatest impact will be given the greatest share of this funding. The program will focus on recovery in the short term and will support valuable investments to help these sectors plan for recovery in the longer term".

    Details of funding criteria, including amounts available for businesses under this package will be made available with the release of program guidelines in the coming weeks.

    Other bushfire support measures include covering the cost of the clean-up of residential and small business properties, the NSW government's $1 billion fund to replace vital state infrastructure, $75,000 grants for bushfire affected primary producers and $50,000 grants for bushfire affected small businesses.

    For a full list if all available bushfire support, go to www.service.nsw.gov.au.

  • Newsletters

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    5 months ago

    Bushfire Recovery Newsletters are being issued by Wingecarribee Shire Council via email and print. Check out the Document Library for the latest editions.

    Further information will continue to be shared via email and noticeboards while we work out how best to deliver bushfire recovery support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Small Business Bushfire Financial Counselling Support Line

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    4 months ago

    Financial Counselling Australia is excited to announce the launch of Australia’s first financial counselling service for small business.

    The Small Business Bushfire Financial Counselling Support Line (1800 413 828) and website www.smallbusinessbushfire.org.au fills a much-needed gap: financial counselling for small businesses affected by the bushfires and experiencing financial difficulties.

    In mid-January, the Federal Government announced funding of $3.5 million over two years to set up the new service.

    “Small business owners commonly have their business and personal finances intermingled. They may have guaranteed a business loan with a personal asset such as their house, for example,” said Fiona Guthrie.

    “And as soon as a crisis hits, not only is the business at risk, but so are their personal assets,” Ms Guthrie said. “And many small businesses impacted by the bushfires are now experiencing a double whammy as a result of Covid-19.”

    “That’s why this financial counselling support line is so important. It is going to play a critical role in helping small business owners get through these really difficult times.”

    The new service has come about as a direct response from the Federal Government to the devastating bushfires that swept large parts of Australia in recent months.

    The financial counselling sector has long advocated for funding to establish a specialist telephone support line for small business owners. In the UK, Business Debtline has been running for a number of years.

    Small business financial counsellors help sole traders and people who run small businesses in many ways. They provide advice on among other things:

    • options for managing business debts as well as personal debts
    • the implications for directors who have guaranteed a business loan or other service/supply
    • how to dispute business debts in external dispute resolution schemes
    • how to negotiate repayment arrangements on tax debts, leases, utility bills, with suppliers or any other business debt
    • what government services and grants may be available to help small businesses.

    They are also trained in negotiation and counselling and to offer emotional support.