The establishment of the National Bushfire Recovery Agency has been announced, together with an initial $2 billion allocation to the National Bushfire Recovery Fund that will support all recovery efforts across Australia over the next 2 years.
Details of what this coordination will look like are evolving in consultation with states and territories, however in the interim:
- Over 6000 registered charities are working in bushfire affected regions. A list of endorsed charities can be found at https://www.bushfirerecovery.gov.au/
- Disaster Payments are available through Centrelink and a comprehensive list of support mechanisms for people directly affected by the bushfires can be found at www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/help-emergency/bushfires
- Disaster Recovery Allowance
Short term payment through the Department of Human Services to help if the bushfires affected your income and provide up to a maximum of 13 weeks allowance.
- Disaster Recovery Payment
Also provided through the Department of Human Services, a one-off payment of $1000 per adult and $400 per child younger than 16.
- Red Cross Emergency Grants
An emergency grant of $5000 for whose primary place of residence has been destroyed or rendered uninhabitable.
- Disaster Recovery Allowance
The new Bushfire Recovery Victoria dedicated agency has been established to coordinate local responses at a community level. Bushfire case support – call 1800 560 760 or visit
- Personal Hardship Assistance Program
Relief centres in fire-affected areas provide one-off payment in Emergency Relief Assistance, available for up to 7 days after the emergency event. In addition, Emergency Re-Establishment Assistance providing up to $42,250 per household is available to eligible recipients to re-establish their homes as quickly as possible.
The Department of Health and Human Services’ payment assistance helpline is 1800 961 054
New South Wales
- Rural Assistance Authority Disaster Recovery Grants
Online applications for up to $15,000 grants to eligible primary producers, small businesses, sporting clubs and not for profit organisations.
Call the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593
- NSW Government Disaster Relief Grants
Financial assistance for eligible individuals who have low income and limited assets.
Call the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444
- Emergency Hardship Assistance Program
Applicants may receive $180 per person up to $900 for a family of 5 or more, to meet their immediate essential needs for food, clothing, medical supplies or temporary accommodation.
- Essential Services Hardship Grant
Applicants may receive $150 per person, up to $750 for a family of 5 or more, to meet their immediate needs where they have experienced loss of one or more essential services for more than 5 days.
- Essential Household Contents Grant
Grants of up to $1,765 for single adults and up to $5,300 for couples/families are available if you are uninsured, or unable to claim insurance, to provide a contribution towards replacing or repairing essential household contents.
- Structural Assistance Grant
Grants of up to $10,995 for single adults and up to $14,685 for couples/families are available if you’re uninsured, or unable to claim insurance as a contribution towards repairs to your home to make it secure and safe.
- Essential Services Safety and Reconnection Grant
Grants of up to $200 towards a safety connection and up to $4200 toward repair work if you’re uninsured, or unable to claim insurance, as a contribution towards reconnection to essential services.
- Low interest loans for primary producersAvailable to primary producers, small business owner and not-for-profits directly affected by the Eastern Queensland Bushfires www.qrida.qld.gov.au/current-programs/Disaster-recovery
- Re-establishment Grants
Grants of up to $10,000 available to applicants who are uninsured and had their principal residence damaged.
Visit a relief centre or phone the SA Recovery Hotline on 1800 302 787
- Small Business Bushfire Recovery Grant
The Department for Innovation and Skills (DIS) may provide grants of up to $10,000 to impacted small businesses and not-for-profits in Cudlee Creek and Kangaroo Island for costs associated with clean-up, restoration and rebuilding.
Online applications at https://business.sa.gov.au/bushfires
- Primary Producer Bushfire Recovery Rebate Grant
Primary Producers located within the Adelaide Hills and Kangaroo Island may be eligible for a rebate of up to $15,000 for reimbursing reinstatement and clean-up costs from recent bushfire events.
A range of financial relief measures for individuals is available at www.dfes.wa.gov.au/recovery/Financial-Assistance
Bushfire Recovery Guide
Communities across Australia have been ravaged by bushfires and extreme heatwave conditions since October. We have witnessed the tragic loss of lives, property, wildlife and livelihoods with more devastation expected over the remainder of the summer.
Our thoughts are with all those affected by these recent events.
As the fires continue, crisis management and clean up are clearly at the forefront for the relevant government agencies, volunteers and the communities affected.
This guide is designed to give you a high-level checklist to help you start the recovery process alongside your advisor, whether that be Grant Thornton or another.