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


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

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    21 Apr 2020

    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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    25 Mar 2020

    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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    09 Apr 2020

    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.



  • Business Support

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    31 Mar 2020

    Service NSW is working in collaboration with federal, state and local governments to bring together all the supports and service available to help small businesses get back on their feet. We recommend that all business owners register with Service NSW. Please do not self-assess you eligibility. Register here: https://mybusiness.service.nsw.gov.au/concierge


    There is a range of significant supports available and you may be eligible for more than one type of financial assistance. For more information call 13 77 88 or check the website at www.service.nsw.gov.au. Below are two of the most accessible grants. Call 13 77 88 or the website at www.service.nsw.gov.au


    Bushfire Recovery

    Grants of up to $50,000 are available for businesses directly impacted.

    https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/apply-bushfire-recovery-grant-directly-impacted-small-businesses


    Small Business Bushfire Support Grant

    A $10,000 grant for businesses whose cashflow has been impacted by the bushfires is also available. Visit www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/apply-small-business-bushfire-support-grant for details.


    Bushfire Working Capital Loan

    The bushfire working capital loan offers up to $50,000 to help businesses cover salaries or wages, rebuild infrastructure and purchase goods and services.

    Also available for eligible businesses is a Bushfire Recovery Loan of up to $500,000.

    Call the Bushfire Customer Care Service on 13 77 88 for further information.

    https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/apply-small-business-bushfire-support-grant

  • NSW Independent Bushfire Inquiry

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    24 Apr 2020

    The NSW Government has commissioned an independent expert inquiry into the 2019-20 bushfire season to provide input to NSW ahead of the next bushfire season.


    Dave Owens APM, former Deputy Commissioner of NSW Police, and Professor Mary O’Kane AC, Independent Planning Commission Chair and former NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer, are leading the six-month inquiry, which is reviewing the causes of, preparation for and response to the 2019-20 bushfires.


    The Inquiry welcomes submissions from bushfire-affected residents, emergency and support personnel, organisations and the general public. Learn more at www.nsw.gov.au/nsw-government/projects-and-initiatives/make-submission-to-bushfire-inquiry


    Everyone is encouraged to share their experience and tell their story to inform the Inquiry’s work. To this end the NSW Bushfire Inquiry has been travelling to bushfire-affected communities to meet with and directly hear from people who have been affected by the 2019-20 bushfires.

    As the COVID-19 situation prohibits the Inquiry from continuing to visit communities to hold face-to-face meetings, community consultation will now be undertaken via video conference (with an option to participate by phone) to ensure we can continue to hear stories directly from community members.

    The Inquiry will hold a videoconference for the Wollondilly and Southern Highlands.

    Meeting: Wollondilly and Southern Highlands Community Consultation

    Location: Online

    Date: Thursday 7 May 2020

    Time: 5:00pm – 6:30pm


    If you are interested in attending this meeting, please register online. Following registration, you will receive a confirmation email. Closer to the date, you will receive a link to access the video conference, including dial-in details if you would prefer to participate by phone.


    The number of participants in each video conference will be capped to ensure everyone gets a chance to share their experience. If demand exceeds capacity, the Inquiry will consider holding additional sessions.

    Provide your feedback by Friday 22 May 2020 using:

    Online form: www.nsw.gov.au/nsw-government/projects-and-initiatives/make-submission-to-bushfire-inquiry

    Email: inquiries@bushfireinquiry.nsw.gov.au

    Post: NSW Independent Bushfire Inquiry, GPO Box 5341, Sydney NSW 2001

    Phone: If you have limited computer or internet access you can make a submission over the phone by calling the Bushfire Customer Care program on 13 77 88


  • Bushfire Relief Tafe NSW - Fee Free Short Courses

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    19 Mar 2020

    In response to the bushfire tragedy in the north and south of the state, TAFE NSW, in conjunction with the NSW Government, is offering a number of fee-free short courses tailored to providing the skills needed to help rebuild devastated communities. Learn more at www.tafensw.edu.au/BUSHFIRE-RELIEF


  • Community Recovery Meetings

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    14 Feb 2020
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    Wingecarribee Shire Council has hosted two Community Recovery Meetings for residents of our fire affected villages:

    • Thursday 20 February 2020, 6pm to 7.30pm in the Wingello Community Hall.
    • Monday 24 February 2020 6pm to 7.30pm in the Balmoral Village Hall.
    Both meetings were lived streamed on Facebook for residents unable to attend. Videos of these meetings can be viewed by visiting our Video Page.

    The meetings featured:

    • an update from key government agencies including Office of Emergency Management, Service NSW and Disaster Welfare Services.
    • an opportunity for the speakers to hear the concerns of residents and for attendees to learn the latest recovery information.
    • Council staff on hand, to talk about ongoing clean-up activities, infrastructure repairs and funding assistance available.

    The Wingello meeting was preceded by a drop-in kiosk from 4pm with government agency representatives and Council staff onsite to discuss individual circumstances with fire affected residents. This was not provided at Balmoral as a Community Recovery Hub operates every Wednesday and Sunday at the Balmoral Village Hall.

    Recovery information will continue to be shared in meetings, kiosks and newsletters.

    For further information please contact our Bushfire Recovery Hotline on 1800 316 500.
  • Service NSW Bushfire Customer Care

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    12 Feb 2020
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    Customers impacted by bushfires are also encouraged to call Service NSW on 13 77 88, see a Service NSW team member in a Disaster Recovery Centre, visit a Service NSW Centre or Mobile Service Centre, or go to www.service.nsw.gov.au/campaign/bushfire-customer-care-service for assistance.

    This service is designed to help individuals and businesses impacted by bushfire to navigate the support that is available to them across all levels of government.

    Types of assistance they can help with include:

    • Accommodation advice
    • Relevant charitable services
    • Mental health and wellbeing services
    • Support for businesses
    • Clean-up services
    • Financial assistance
    • Grants and rebates
    • Insurance and legal support
    • Replacing lost ID
    • Volunteer RFS and SES payments


    To connect with a Service NSW Customer Care specialist, call Service NSW between 7am and 7pm on 13 77 88.


  • Mayoral Relief Fund

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    12 Feb 2020

    Wingecarribee Shire Mayor Duncan Gair has launched a Mayoral Relief Fund set up by Council to assist residents of the Wingecarribee Shire that have been directly impacted by the bushfires.

    The Green Wattle Creek and Morton fires have caused significant damage to a number of our Shire’s communities.

    “It’s going to take a long time to recovery from this disaster and I know a lot of people want to assist those residents impacted and help them return to some semblance of normality as soon as possible,” the Mayor said.

    “On behalf of my fellow Councillors and all the staff of Council I would like to extend a huge thank you to all our firefighters and everyone helping with the ongoing efforts to protect our community,” the Mayor added.

    Now is the time to look after each other and a donation of any amount will be greatly appreciated.

    Donations

    Donations can be made online through a dedicated account organised via the National Australia Bank (NAB) at:

    Account name: MAYORAL RELIEF FUND
    BSB: 082 135
    Account number: 20 118 3392

    Donations can also be made in person at any branch of the NAB with the above mentioned details or in person at Wingecarribee Shire Council’s Customer Service Centre, located in the Moss Vale Civic Centre.

    Accessing the Mayoral Relief Funds

    Residents directly impacted by the recent bushfires can apply for the assistance from the Mayoral Relief Fund.

    Applicants must be residents of the Wingecarribee Shire, in a bushfire affected identified area and identification may be required.

    For further information, please call the Wingecarribee Shire Bushfire Recovery Hotline on 1800 316 500 or email mail@wsc.nsw.gov.au.

  • Financial Assistance

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    19 Feb 2020

    The following assistance is available, for people who have been directly impacted by the recent bushfires;

    Mayoral Relief Funds

    Residents directly impacted by the recent bushfires, can apply for assistance from the Mayoral Relief Fund.

    A donation of $500.00 for a household & $250.00 for an individual, may be applied for by downloading and completing the below form;

    www.wsc.nsw.gov.au/uploads/3765/1.-mayoral-relief-fund-application-form_updated10jan2020.pdf

    Applicants must be residents of the Wingecarribee Shire, in a bushfire affected identified area, and identification may be required.

    For further information, please call the Wingecarribee Shire Bushfire Recovery Hotline on 1800 316 500 or email mail@wsc.nsw.gov.au.

    Commonwealth Government Disaster Recovery Payment

    The NSW Government Office of Emergency Management is coordinating Disaster Recovery Payments of $1000 per eligible adult and $400 per eligible child. An additional $400 will also be provided for children, this payment will be applied automatically.

    Call the Bushfire Customer Care Service on 13 77 88, or Human Services on 180 22 66.

    Commonwealth Government Disaster Recovery Allowance

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

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

    Call the Bushfire Customer Care Service on 13 77 88 or Human Services on 180 2266 or visit www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/subjects/how-access-our-services

    NSW Government Disaster Relief Grants

    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

    Call the Bushfire Customer Care Service on 13 77 88 or Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444.

    Bank Assistance

    Australians affected by the catastrophic bushfires are encouraged to contact their bank to access a wide range of available assistance.

    Banks have hardship teams ready to assist you with your financial arrangements, depending on your circumstances.

    Contact your bank for more information.

    Volunteer Firefighters’ Financial Support

    Payments are available for eligible volunteer firefighters, who are self-employed or employed by a small or medium business and have lost income.

    Call the Bushfire Customer Care Service on 13 77 88.

    Emergency Bushfire Response in Primary Industries Grants Program

    $75,000 recovery grants, concessional loans and transport subsidies for available for eligible primary producers.

    Call the Bushfire Customer Care Service on 13 77 88 or NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 for more information.

    Small Business Grants - also see www.yoursaywingecarribee.com.au/bushfire-recovery/news_feed/business-support

    Grants of up to $50,000 are available, if your business has been directly affected by the bushfires.

    Call the Bushfire Customer Care Service on 13 77 88.

    Bushfire Working Capital Loan

    The bushfire working capital loan offers up to $50,000 to help businesses cover salaries or wages, rebuild infrastructure and purchase goods and services.

    Also available for eligible businesses is a Bushfire Recovery Loan of up to $500,000.

    Call the Bushfire Customer Care Service on 13 77 88 for further information.

    Motor Vehicle Stamp Duty Relief

    Financial assistance is available for eligible motorists, whose cars have been written off as a result of bushfires.

    Call the Bushfire Customer Care Service on 13 77 88 for further information.

    Australian Red Cross Assistance Grants

    The Australian Red Cross is offering financial support to people whose primary place of residence was destroyed.

    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.
    • Rebuild grant for owner-occupiers to assist with early stages of rebuilding.

    Applications for emergency, primary residence repair and injury grants will be open until 30 April 2020. Rebuild grant applications will be open until 30 June 2020.

    Phone 1800 268 772 or visit the Redcross website www.redcross.org.au/grants .

    Salvation Army Disaster Assistance

    The Salvation Army Disasters Assistance team is available to help those affected in all states. Working with state and local government, they offer a range of services and assistance measures to help people and communities who have been impacted by the bushfires – including financial assistance, emotional support and referrals. Contact the team by emailing sal.disasters@salvationarmy.org.au or by calling 1300 662 217. Info at www.salvationarmy.org.au/need-help/disasters-and-emergencies/

    Vinnies Emergency Assistance

    Vinnies are currently offering immediate emergency assistance for those that have been affected by the fires and suffered property loss or damage or require other support. Please call 13 18 12 to speak with a Vinnies member in your local area or visit the Vinnies website.

    Other Bushfire Assistance Grants

    A comprehensive directory of available grants for individuals impacted by the bushfires can be found on GrantsHub by clicking on the following link: www.thegrantshub.com.au/blog/articles/bushfire-grants

    Lions Clubs of the Southern Highlands

    A grant is currently offered by local Lions Clubs of up to $1500 for goods only (not cash) for those who have been fire affected. Please call 0408 102 411 or email bowral.nsw@lions.org.au to learn more.

    Further Bushfire Recovery Information and Assistance

    Additional information on disaster assistance including; housing assistance, cleaning up, insurance queries, animal welfare, legal assistance, replacement of personal documents, counselling and mental health support services is available by clicking on the link below:

    www.emergency.nsw.gov.au/Pages/for-the-community/disaster-assistance/disaster-assistance.aspx