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


  • Council Bushfire Recovery Hotline

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    12 Feb 2020

    The Bushfire Recovery Hotline 1800 316 500 is available between 8.30am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday. Calls to the number after these hours will be attended to the next working day.

    Staff are able to provide advice on bushfire specific queries, including:

    • Mayoral Relief Fund/Assistance requests
    • Water filling/tank recovery queries
    • Planning matters surrounding bush fire recovery
    • Bush fire related waste management requests
    • Rural Fire Service (RFS) requests for Council assistance
    • Infrastructure maintenance requests from bush fire damaged communities
    • Coordinating and arranging multi-agency requests, and
    • General bush fire recovery requests

  • Emergency Temporary Accommodation

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    12 Feb 2020

    Emergency Temporary Accommodation

    Emergency accommodation is available to people affected as a direct result of the recent fires.

    Short-term housing support for up to three months is available to all people in urgent need of housing because of a natural disaster. This also covers people who would not normally be eligible for social housing.

    Call the Bushfire Customer Care Service on 13 77 88 or NSW Housing Contact Centre on 1800 152 152 (available 24/7).

    Tenants Rights

    As a tenant you have rights under the Residential Tenancies Act 2010. For information regarding your rights, please visit:

    www.tenants.org.au/factsheet-22-disaster-damage or www.tenants.org.au/tu/news/important-info-bushfire-affected-tenants


  • FOCUS connect bushfire financial assistance program

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    09 Jul 2020
    CLOSED: This opportunity has concluded.

    FOCUS connect bushfire financial assistance program, is available until the 30th of June 2020, to individuals residing in the Macarthur, Wollondilly and Wingecarribee regions.

    The program is designed for people who have experienced any of the following as a result of the recent bushfire;

    - Loss/damage of home

    - Loss/damage of personal/household item

    - Loss of income

    - Loss of a family member/pet

    - Displaced from your home

    - Health related impacts

    In order for us to determine your eligibility, we will conduct an over the phone assessment, this usually takes about 30 minutes. We will ask you to provide some details on how you/your household has been impacted. You will also need to provide certain types of information including: - Your personal details & contact information - Identification - Income (All information you provide is for assessment and record keeping purposes only and will remain confidential and handled in accordance with Focus Connects Privacy Policy) Focus Connect understands that you may be working with other local supports as you recover from the fires. We can engage collaboratively with you and these other service providers to make the process as smooth as possible.

    For further information or to make an appointment, please contact Caitlin Manganaro

    on 02 4627 1188 or via email on E. caitlinmanganaro@focusconnect.org.au

  • Free Document Replacement

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    12 Feb 2020
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    Service NSW is offering free document replacement for bushfire affected residents.

    Free document replacements include;

    • Drivers licenses
    • Permits
    • Birth, marriage and change of name certificates
    • NSW Fair Trading permits and licenses

    For more information, please visit;

    www.service.nsw.gov.au/campaign/bushfire-customer-care-service/identification-and-personal-documents
  • Assistance for Fire Damaged Fences

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    12 Feb 2020

    Public Land Boundary Fencing Program

    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(External link) or call 1300 778 080 .


    Fences Bordering National Parks

    NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) offers assistance under certain conditions to repair or replace fences damaged by recent fires bordering national parks in accordance with the NPWS boundary fencing policy. This is of particular relevance to landholders who immediately border national parks and nature reserves affected by the recent fires across New South Wales.

    For further Information Visit:

    www.environment.nsw.gov.au/topics/parks-reserves-and-protected-areas/fire/park-recovery-and-rehabilitation/assistance-for-fire-damaged-fences


  • Clearing Trees and Vegetation after a bushfire

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    12 Feb 2020

    Clearing Trees and Vegetation from around your home after a bush fire

    The first step is to check the conditions of the 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Scheme on the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS)website.

    Under the 10/50 Code, eligible property owners may only be able to clear trees on their property within 10 metres of their home and clear underlying vegetation such as shrubs (but not trees) on their property within 50 metres of their home without approval. Eligible property owners can only clear their own land.

    Restrictions may apply to certain properties and before any clearing is undertaken, property owners must check and verify, if their properties meet the 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Scheme criteria.

    Landholders can check their eligibility at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/plan-and-prepare/1050-vegetation-clearing/tool.

    Property Zoning

    The next step for landholders is to check the zoning of their property, to determine the relevant agency for tree and vegetation clearing requirements.

    Landholders can check the zoning of their property, using the State Government’s online tool: www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/spatialviewer/#/find-a-property/address.

    The NSW Planning Portal is an initiative of the New South Wales Government acting through the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment that provides access to a range of planning services and information under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

    For properties that are zoned rural, landowners should contact Local Land Services Moss Vale office on 48 243 738 or visit southeast.lls.nsw.gov.au.

    For all other non-rural zoned properties, including those in Environment Zones, and applications that are part of or related to Development Applications, landholders should contact Council.

    Further Exemptions

    Further exemptions for fire-affected vegetation, may apply if the tree(s) are deemed dead, dying or dangerous to life or property. Land owners should contact Council for instructions, on what to do, if their properties have been extensively burnt during the course of a bushfire.

    For more information visit http://media.wsc.nsw.gov.au/managing-vegetation-prior-to-and-after-a-bushfire/

  • Reporting Property Damage

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    13 Feb 2020
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    An online form for people impacted by bushfires, is available to report property fire damage to the NSW Police.

    The online form allows people to report damage to structures – including homes, sheds and businesses – as well as vehicles and vessels – including cars, caravans, tractors, boats, jet skis and yachts – and household property such as televisions, laptops, lounges and bicycles.

    After completing the form, you will be issued with a Bushfire Report Reference Number, that can be used when speaking with police and insurance providers.

    The report will then be reviewed by a PoliceLink Customer Service Representative and once accepted, an official NSW Police Force Event number will be provided.

    For an official NSW Police Force report to be created, you will need to have the following information;


    • Your details as the person making the report
    • Details of any owners of the property
    • Details of your insurer, if available
    • Location of where the damage occurred
    • Details of the property that was damaged
    • How the property was damaged


    Community members are reminded that the online form is for reporting damage to property only.

    For more information and to submit a report visit: www.police.nsw.gov.au/bushfire_report


  • Distribution of Federal Government Fund

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    12 Feb 2020
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    Wingecarribee Shire Councillors have voted to allocate one million dollars in bushfire relief funds across the Shire’s Northern and Southern fire affected villages, following Wednesday evening’s Extraordinary Meeting of Council.

    The Extraordinary Meeting was called to decide where the Federal Government’s $1 million in bushfire relief funds should be distributed and follows specially convened community meetings in Hill Top and Bundanoon.

    For full information, please view the media statement.


  • Mental Health Support

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    12 Feb 2020

    The Australian Government is providing mental health support for individuals, families and emergency services workers affected by the bushfires including up to 10 free counselling sessions if you were affected by the bushfires to support you through the immediate trauma and crisis.

    If you or someone you know is in need of support during and after a bushfire, please reach out. Speak to your GP, or regular health care provider.

    Mental health teams are being deployed across NSW, to support fire-affected communities.

    Learn more at www.health.nsw.gov.au/mentalhealth/resources/Pages/bushfire-mental-health-support.aspx

    Additional support is available on:


    Bushfire Response Resource Pack

    Beyond Blue has developed a resource pack with educators in mind, and it also includes information suitable for parents, families, children, young people and community members.

    It is for communities both directly and indirectly affected – including those from regions that have been severely affected, those who have had children and young people who were evacuated, those who will be looking after children who were relocated, those who are affected by smoke and reduction in air quality, and those who observed the media coverage and are wondering what they can do to help.

    Children and young people can develop trauma-related mental health issues even when not directly exposed to the bushfires. These events may bring back past traumatic experiences. Visit https://beyou.edu.au/bushfires-response for more information.

  • Support for Bushfire Affected Children, Students & Families

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    12 Feb 2020
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    The Australian Government is providing immediate support to children, students, families, early childhood education and care services and schools impacted by the bushfires. Learn more at www.education.gov.au/support-bushfire-affected-communities