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.

Updated 12 October 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.

Updated 12 October 2020


  • Photo competition and exhibition

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    12 Oct 2020
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    Wingecarribee Shire Council's Bush Fire Social Recovery Committee and the Southern Highlands Foundation (FireAid) are inviting photographers from across the Shire to join them as they prepare a special photo exhibition documenting last season’s ‘Black Summer’ bushfires.

    In the weeks that followed the Green Wattle Creek and Morton bush fires we heard devastating tales of loss and grief. But we also learnt of remarkable stories of heroism, resilience and mateship. The idea behind this photo exhibition is to document and continue to capture a lasting record of those moments that represent the spirit and recovery of our community.

    This may include images of firefighters on the fire-front, recovery of the environment or the journey of renewal.

    Entitled ‘Photo Voice: Renewal and Resilience’, the exhibition is open to both professional and amateur photographers who were directly involved or affected by the 2019/20 bush fires.

    Selected images and text will be featured on the ARTSfile website, exhibited at the Community Halls in Wingello (8 November) and Balmoral (15 November), and published in a book which will be available for purchase later in the year.

    Entries open 9 October 2020 and close 26 October 2020

    Please fill out the Entry Form at https://artsfile.com.au/editorial/photovoice, read and agree to the Terms & Conditions, upload your images following the guidelines provided and click SUBMIT.

    For more information:
    P 02 4868 0888
    E cath.brennan@wsc.nsw.gov.au

  • Community Workshops

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    18 Sep 2020
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    What does your community need to recover and build resilience?


    Council in partnership with Resilience NSW are hosting free facilitated community workshops to talk about bushfire recovery, what is needed now and into the future.

    This is an opportunity to engage with your community and have a say in planning to support recovery and resilience.

    Morning tea and a light lunch will be provided. COVID safety measures will apply and registration is a requirement.

    For those unable to participate in person, an online option will be available via Zoom. Please indicate your participation choice when you register.

    Workshop one: North and West Villages

    • Date: Saturday 10 October 2020, 10 am to 1 pm
    • Location: Mittagong RSL
    • RSVP: Wednesday 7 October


    Workshop two: Southern Villages

    • Date: Saturday 17 October 2020, 10 am to 1 pm
    • Location: Moss Vale Services Club
    • RSVP: Wednesday 14 October


    Click here to register

    For more information contact our Community Recovery Officer, on phone 4868 0888 during business hours, Monday to Friday.


  • National Bushfire Appeal provides $2 million to assist young people in fire impacted regions

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    26 Aug 2020

    Community Enterprise Foundation (CEF) - the Bank’s charitable arm - has provided $2 million of its National Bushfire Disaster Appeal fund to The Salvation Army, to establish a new Youth Education and Workplace Pathways Grants program for young people (aged 15-25) in bushfire affected communities across Australia.

    The Salvation Army has also generously matched the funding provided by CEF from the National Bushfire Disaster Appeal, by injecting up to $2 million of its own funds into the delivery of the new Grants program nationwide.

    The Youth Education and Workplace Pathways Grants program will focus on assisting young people in fire impacted communities by awarding $3,000 cash grants to support their educational development and further their workplace aspirations.

    Eligible recipients who meet the grant criteria can use the grants to cover:

    - Out of pocket expenses for Government Courses, TAFE Programs, transition courses or other identified educational programs

    - The purchase of study related or employment related materials such as laptops, books or tools

    - Transport costs to and from employment, the purchase of safety equipment for courses, or personal needs for improving employment interview presentation.

    Visit Bendigo Bank and The Salvation Army Education and Workplace Pathways Grants for more information.

    To apply for a grant or for further information, please call our bushfire disaster team on 1300 662 217 or email sal.disasters@salvationarmy.org.au


  • Council Social Recovery Small Grants

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    31 Jul 2020

    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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    17 Jul 2020

    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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    08 Jul 2020

    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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    01 Jun 2020

    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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    27 May 2020
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    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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    10 Feb 2020
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    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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    22 Apr 2020

    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 .